Today on XM Radio, Seth Rudetsky said that the Music union is now suing the show Priscilla Queen of the Desert because they are using pre-recorded violins (or something like that) instead of a real orchestra. With your opinions of union workers and remembering that I am not taking sides on this, I want to ask what you think? Would you pay more money for already expensive broadway tickets in order to have a real full orchestra playing or would you want to keep the already high prices where they are and have them use state of the art sound equipment that sounds exactly like the real instruments for some of the instruments. Let’s go into this a little bit more.
Here is one argument that I could see for the music union that I would agree with. There is no comparison to hearing a real musical instrument, if you have a trained ear for music and are a musician on your own. If you are sitting right in the front and watch the bows on the violins or see the musicians playing, it really means something. I personally love to hear the musicians playing, but when I am at a show and sitting balcony, a few rows or more away from the stage, etc… I’ll be honest I cannot tell the difference. For most of america, I don’t think anyone knows that they are listening to a recording vs. a real instrument. Also to that point, there are still some musicians playing in the orchestra pit, just not a full orchestra anymore. This leads me to a point about the public going to see a show.
If the music union would win the lawsuit against Priscilla Queen of the Desert, which they have a right to fight for their jobs, broadway audiences would get to hear the difference between a recording and a gorgeous and beautiful full orchestra. Many people won’t be able to tell the difference, but there is something amazing about hearing a real orchestra, especially when they can add little twists to each song to make it unique. On the other hand, tickets are already extremely expensive and if they have to pay for musicians for 8 shows a week, that is going to increase the prices again. Is the sound that most of us cannot tell the difference with worth paying even more for already inflated tickets? I have one last point to make for those of you who think you can tell the difference between a recording with state of the art sound and a real instrument. Did you know that the performers don’t perform every song? take Phantom of the Opera.
Very few people could hit all of those notes every show, 8 shows a week. It would do a lot of damage to your voice or at least make you have to rest your voice and take a lot of time off. Also, when the Phantom and I think Christine are running around the background and climbing ladders, do you think they are actually singing? Nope, those are the Actors voices pre-recorded. I bet that not many broadway audience members actually knew either of those things. The fact is that the sound quality is so good now that the majority of people would never know the difference if they didn’t find out on blogs or shows like Seth Rudetsky’s Big Fat Broadway on Sirius XM.
Here is my opinion. For some shows with modern music I don’t care if some of the instruments are pre-recorded. I cannot tell the difference unless I am sitting right there or there are no speakers in the theatre at all for the actors or for the orchestra. Then you really hear what they sound like, as long as you are close enough to hear. If it is an older show with clear solos and where the voice has to match the instrument, it is amazing to hear the two together. Sort of like the person who sings in Candide for the song Glitter and Be Gay with the flute. The person’s voice and the instrument sound amazing together. So back to my question, this is just for you to think about because I cannot get my poll to work, or you can leave a comment below. Would you honestly be happy or willing to pay more for already expensive tickets to see a broadway show that has a couple of more instruments and when you cannot tell the difference between pre-recorded or live or are you happy to see it for a bit less money and have a few less instruments and you cannot tell the difference between the two?