Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fifty Shades of Tallis: EL James' book effects classical music sales.

Who knew that the book Fifty Shades of Grey - which has been dubbed 'mommy porn' due to its steamy plot - would become a publishing phenomenon have an effect on the classical music industry?

[Let us pause for the chuckles and chortles.]

With sales of the novel on the Kindle reaching one million earlier this week, Fifty Shades of Grey has now broken print sales records, too.

The first book in the trilogy has sold one million print copies in just 11 short weeks, beating The Da Vinci Code's previous record of sales of one million in 36 weeks.

Oh... and that ain't all, Chiclets - according to Nielson Bookscan the book has also broken the weekly record for paperback sales, selling 397,889 copies.

EL James's, who was a former self-published Kindle Direct Publishing author, attributed the book's success on the fact that the story offers women a "holiday from their husbands".

Well, little did you know ... while women are taking holidays from their hubbies, they're creating a climax in the UK's classical music industry - having sparked an increase in the sales of a particular piece of classical music.

The novel features the piece Spem in Alium - and readers have been so excited about that piece of music, that they've downloaded the Tallis Scholars version on iTunes. So many downloads, in fact, that the single rose from number 20 to number 13 to number 8 and then, this week, to number 7 on the UK Classical Music Charts.

The founder and director of the Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips, told The Telegraph: "I haven't read Fifty Shades of Grey but, I am most grateful to the author for introducing so many new listeners to the musical sensation that is Thomas Tallis's Spem in Alium."

Spem in Alium features 40 individual voices singing in Latin and was written during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

And for those, like me, who are not well versed in Latin: the words 'Spem in alium' are translated as 'Hope in any other'.

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