Music, Musicians and careers

Dawn Bennett, Angela Beeching, Rosie Perkins, Glen Carruthers, Janis Weller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

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Why do today’s musicians have to work in multiple roles? What happened to all the performance jobs? What has changed? As a quick look at history will show, very little. Musicians in the Middle Ages often worked as town watchmen, warning people of impending danger or ringing the church bells as required. They trained apprentices and provided musical entertainment, working with different groups of musicians and catering for the tastes of
various audiences. From the twelfth century, musicians’ guilds protected the rights and incomes of their members. Despite Guild membership, however, the salaries of musicians employed at court or within the church rarely covered basic living costs and so musicians would seek freelance work performing for weddings and other social occasions. Musicians also worked as scribes, servants and teachers. Some even worked as spies, taking information from place to place and selling it to the highest bidder (admittedly, perhaps this has changed somewhat). The itinerant (travelling) musicians had the worst deal: not welcome in the musicians’ Guild, they were often paid in the form of gifts rather than with money.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLife in the real world: How to make music graduates employable
EditorsDawn Bennett
Place of PublicationChampaign, Illinois
PublisherCommon Ground Publishing
ISBN (Print)978-1-61229-078-2, 978-1-61229-079-9
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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