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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Understanding the Music Business: What is Music Worth? by Vanderbilt University

146 ratings

About the Course

This course will examine the music industry in the United States, with the unique perspective gained by Vanderbilt University’s location in Nashville, TN. Nashville is a major center of music in the United States, and the music created here has a global reach, particularly in the country, rock, pop, singer-songwriter, and Americana genres. However, students will learn that the basic principles of recording, marketing, copyright, licensing, and live performance are the same, regardless of musical style or genre. The music business is one of the most rapidly changing industries in the US today. It is also an industry filled with contradiction, and media headlines and anecdotal stories often add to the confusion. Here are just a few statements paraphrased from recent news stories: * The music business has collapsed * Demand for music is expanding at the greatest rate in history * Historic recording studios are closing at an alarming rate * More people are making recordings than ever before * Musicians usually lose money touring * Musicians usually make money touring * Major artist pulls songs off streaming services because they don’t pay fairly * Major artist makes a fortune from streaming services * People won’t buy records anymore * Vinyl record sales are soaring This course will attempt to make sense of these seemingly contradictory trends and data, outline the basic structure and mechanisms of today’s music industry, and encourage students to think critically and entrepreneurially about the future of music. Leaders from various areas of the music business will lend their perspectives through in-depth interviews, and footage from a recording session will give learners a behind the scenes look at how a song goes from the spark of an idea hummed into a cell phone to a finished recording. Participants will grapple with questions about art and commerce which are both timeless and crucially important today, and will emerge from this course with tools allowing them to make more informed decisions as creators, promoters, and consumers of music. Course launches February 19, 2016....

Top reviews


Oct 10, 2022

It was a great learning experience for me.

The course modules is concise and straight to the point.


Mar 5, 2016

Really interesting course even for someone who's kids begged me not to sing a lullaby to them.

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1 - 25 of 36 Reviews for Understanding the Music Business: What is Music Worth?

By Idan L

Jun 9, 2017

The first two models are practically useless. I enjoy as much as the next guy hearing sound guys talk and see how music is made, but this is not what the course is about. The course should be about the music business, and the instructor spends way too little course time discussing the core issues. Generally, it feels like the instructor touches upon the relevant topics, but never really explores them. I strongly recommend taking Berklee's "Music Business Foundations" instead.

By Girish P

Nov 16, 2019

It feels like a formal training.I thank the team for a lot of valuable informations

By Georges

Mar 1, 2016

Loved it.

It gave me insight to how thing work in this business.

Great Job.

By Silviya D

Mar 6, 2016

This course contains really interesting information, which is presented in a creative way (suitable for the artistic mind of a musician). The lessons can easily be put into practice. I like the discussions because they are very thought provoking and really challenge the students to think of different ways to add more value to their music.And last but not least I like the interviews, because they give some really practical real life advice.

By Isaac M

Dec 13, 2016

it's great, all vivid content and clear explanations.

By lakshman r

Feb 28, 2020

A lot of good insights into the workings of the music industry in the U.S. Would prefer more assignments and interaction with the faculty since there were a lot of places I felt it was cliched information. However, a nice course for people who have zero ideas how a professional music industry in a nutshell.

By Thomas D

Oct 12, 2020

Some of the technical stuff is shallow and/or wrong, but the business aspect of the program is pretty good. Mostly, what you'll learn is that the music "business" is no longer a real business and that music has become a commodity that is easily 2nd through 1Mth sourced and has a diminishing value.

By Victor R

Aug 16, 2016

it's a basic course very focused on the mainstream music industry, it is very concise and worth reviewing, unfortunately you can not get feedback from the exams if you don't pay.

By Deleted A

Dec 21, 2020

First off, The teacher stutters way too much, making the videos feel as they were amateur YouTube pieces.

Secondly, very little substance is offered in the video pills: there’s an infinity of 1 min to 2 min videos where just an ultra quick idea of the subject is given, with absolutely no deepening; what makes it even worse, you have to take the goddamn theme song intro AND outro for each video: within half an hour you heard that tune a good 25 times...

Guest interviews, on the other hand, are extremely long and verbose, 15 minutes to one hour, hardly staying focused on a subject, and they constitute the main filler for this mediocre course.

West Virginia university and Berklee offer significantly better online education on the subject.

By Alicia C

Apr 3, 2018

Although I was only an auditor, the information I learned from this course was invaluable. Professor Gunderman's passion and knowledge on the subject was astonishing and the modules more than thorough. Although I was a music-lover prior to the course and committed to purchasing music and related products, I hadn't realized that there were so many other ways I could support the overall community, or just how many people rely on that support to make a living. Now, having gone through the course materials, I am more determined than ever to support the music community, pay attention to industry developments, and engage others in crucial discussions about the worth of music and the obligations we have to artists.

By Emily T

Nov 14, 2016

I absolutely loved this course. Honestly, I thought it could get a little boring, but I was totally wrong. She made it fun and SUPER interesting, and her interviews were great as well. Highly recommend this course, even if you're just a music consumer and don't necessarily want to get into the business! I kind of want to take it again...

By Natalia F

Jun 30, 2016

Great course. It gives very good basics of what you need to know if you want to make a career in the music business. I loved all the interviews with industry insiders - they sort of allow you to see the big picture from different angles. All the recommended reading was also pretty useful.

By Andrew G

Mar 27, 2016

Very enjoyable survey of a variety of issues involved in the state of the music business today. The instructor did a great job of assembling relevant material, and the course was presented in an engaging, very professional way - highly recommended.

By Benjamin M

Mar 5, 2016

Besides Songwriting from Berklee this was the most practical and useful course I have taken so far. It answered so many questions I had and gave so valuable tipps for the modern musician. Thanks a lot!

By Victor L

Mar 8, 2021

Excellent introduction course to what the music business is. Would be interesting to update it now that cybercurrency and blockchain technology is being used to connect the artist with the consumers.

By Jacopo A

Mar 8, 2021

Nice course, well explained, just sometimes, in my opinion, some videos are too long and easily you can loose the concentration.

Overall a nice and intersting course.

By Brankko S

Oct 6, 2016

A course of great value, with very important informations. I wanna another course like this, approaching music marketing! Thank you


Jun 23, 2021

Muy lindoo!!! Perfecto si necesitas una introduccion a los negocios de la musicaa!! La mentora es muy apasioanada al explicar!

By Bright o E

Oct 11, 2022

It was a great learning experience for me.

The course modules is concise and straight to the point.

By Gordon R

Mar 6, 2016

Really interesting course even for someone who's kids begged me not to sing a lullaby to them.

By Erich C

Jun 22, 2016

Fantastic course, really great information!

By Nury N P C

Oct 8, 2021

gracias por todo el apogo y las enseñansas

By Ricardo i g

Mar 23, 2022

have loved it for years, great soundtrack


Mar 22, 2016

Great, excellent information. Very hype

By Robert J B E

Aug 21, 2018

Best Music Course on Coursera Le