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I didn’t mean to learn about the music business

On December 10th

I swear I didn’t. But it’s been a side-effect of my delving further into the world of musicians. Understanding musicians without understanding the economic and social conditions they work in is like understanding fish without knowing about water.

One of the books that deeply affected me back in music school was A Social History of Music by Henry Raynor. It looks to be out of print but there are copies to be snagged on Alibris, Abebooks, Amazon, etc. It’s a history of how musicians made a lving from the Middle Ages to the Beatles.

It was many years ago when I read it, but it helped me understand how musicians have been constantly improvising and renegotiating their arrangements with society. This allows me to take a long view with respect to the current upheaval in the music industry. It informs my sense that musicians who are clever and relentless will find a way to thrive.

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