Assignment 3: Music

Assignment Instructions:

MDLAB 2013 Counting Your Music Library and WordPress Blogging

  1. Create a WordPress account and a new post for this assignment
  2. You will need to look at 10 albums in your music collection or 10 downloads, each representing a different album.
  3. Go through your music collection (of 10 albums). Chart your collection by the three major US/UK labels: Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, and Warner Music Group, and the independent labels and the Major Arab labels (Rotana or other). List all the 10 artists, their labels, and whether those labels are from one of the majors or one of the independents. To figure out the parent company of the label, look at the fine print or go online and do some digging. Here is an example to use as a guide:


  1. Compute where your music money goes using the following chart (For a new album with a list price of $15.99.)
  • $0.17 Musicians’ unions
  • $0.80 Packaging/manufacturing
  • $0.82 Publishing royalties
  • $0.80 Retail profit
  • $0.90 Distribution
  • $1.60 Artists’ royalties
  • $1.70 Label profit
  • $2.40 Marketing/promotion
  • $2.91 Label overhead
  • $3.89 Retail overhead

Add up the total number of CDs that you own. Multiply that number by the typical retail price of $15.99 to determine the approximate cost of your collection. Then referencing the chart above, figure where your money went. (If your music was downloaded for free, figure out how much money was “lost” to each part of the industry as a result.)

  1. Then, answer the following questions:
  • Can you be a serious music fan and support artists you like, yet resist the dominant music companies? How?
  • Do you see a qualitative difference in content and style between the independent label recordings and major label recordings?
  • What are the positives and negatives of having a handful of major companies dominating most of the music industry? How does concentration, conglomeration, and integration affect the music you listen to?
  • If you have Arabic or locally produced music, how does the Arabic music scene compare to that of the US?
  • What trends or themes (love, patriotism, sex, religion…) did you notice that dominated your music collection? What values do these songs reflect and how do they compare to your own values and culture?
  • Comment on the rise of digital music consumption and what iTunes and streaming/cloud services (Spotify,, Soundcloud) mean for the music industry (for both artists and consumers).

Links to completed Assignments:

1. Azhar Sabih:
2. Mohammed Bassiki:
3. Maream-Jena Halim Nabut:
4. Christina Aoun:
5. Leen Essa:
6. Fatima Masri:
7. Joudi Sabra:
8. Dima Issa:
9. Dina Agha:
10. Batoul Karbjha:
11. Aya Alayan:
12. Hussein Kassab:
13. Mohammed Khraisat:
14. Arabi Masri:
15. Abdallah Mobaideen:
16. Meray Abboud:
17. Serene Srouji:
18. Georges Richan:
19. Fares Al Hajj:
20. Hazem Salha:
21. Mohammad Kallas:
22. Raghda Mugharbil: