Though the music industry has gone through a lot of changes, traditional music record labels tend to represent the majority of the market. Classical music as a unique genre is not exempt to the influence of record labels. Classical music record labels tend to dictate what gets played on the airwaves and disseminated to audiences. Knowing more about some common key terms will help businesses who are dealing with classical music record labels.
Independent classical music label
Although many of the classical music records you see are from large, established labels, some independent labels (labels without the established connections of larger ones) have risen to offer the public more in opera and other classical genres.
A&R or Artists and Repertory is the branch of a record label that goes looking for new acts to sign to a label. A&R is an important part of classical music record labels, as agents reach out to performers for signing.
Many experts refer to the classical music genre as "performance driven," which means its interest is generally guided by the actual musical performance and instrumentation rather than other elements.
A demo is simply a recorded piece that showcases the skills of a group or artist. Classical music as a genre is not exempt from the demand for demo CDs and tapes -- a classical music label will want to be presented with a demo, just like a pop or rock label would.
"Amorphous" is a term some are now using in relation to classical music and the record labels that produce it. This term represents part of a "greening" or contemporization of classical music and labels to a younger audience.
An ensemble is really just a term for a group of musicians playing together. But it's a word that sometimes trips up music managers. For liner notes or classical music labeling, when you need to check the meaning, definitions are available online.