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Sandow on making a living

On December 6th covering ,

Greg sandow is a wonderful writer about the professional classical music world. His post from today is even more important for rock/pop musicians to read than for classical musicians. Read the comments as well.

Here is the point that I would develop if I had more than a couple of minutes today: making a living in music has required constant inventiveness, with a few exceptions. There have been more or less stable arrangements throughout history, but these have always been uneasy compromises. I’m thinking of Franz Josef Haydn working as a servant of Prince Esterhazy, and Kapellmeister J.S. Bach always kvetching to his employers at Thomaskirche for more money and more musicians. Or today, the arrangements where musicians find university residencies or faculty appointments. But mostly they have to invent ways to make money.

This article on the Rolling Stones from Fortune magazine is a few years old, but is informative about the business workings of a band that epitomizes financial success. I found it informative on many fronts, but I found it especially enlightening to read about how they neede to invent a way to make a living by touring in the mid-60’s. And how they had to re-invent it all over again. Seems like it’s worked out for them.

It can be liberating to know there’s no lost golden age when musicians could just follow a formula. It’s a constant process of invention.

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