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Old 04-02-2012, 09:35 AM
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Bad Tempered Clavier Bad Tempered Clavier is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 573
Default Re: Why Musicians Shouldn't Work for Peanuts

Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
But isn't this why we have a Musicians' Union?
Perhaps unions behave differently in other regions, but in the UK the MU is pretty toothless when it comes to this sort of thing. As the author of the blog writes:
"There is currently no fair-wage regulator for small-medium music venues to sign up to. The Musicians Union have made some attempts but they can only be enforced if you are a member and are mostly ignored by the musicians themselves."
Originally Posted by PQleyR View Post
This article doesn't make sense to me. Is she calling for a sort of musician's cartel to keep fees high? I would prefer a free market situation myself.
I don't think she's advocating removing a free market:
"Anyone has the right to play music to earn cash, regardless of ability and experience as we are in a free market and music is subjective. But there is a responsibility that comes with charging a fee and all musicians should be aware that by undercutting the going-rate, or working for free, they are affecting the profession of music."
I think the problem comes because so many musicians who work for any kind of fee are self employed. If you can get a salaried job as a member of a long established orchestra or be part of one of those bigger West End/Broadway productions then you're more likely to get paid on a more equitable level according to the amount of work you're actually doing; largely because such large companies are subject to the kind of employment laws that everybody else is. If you're trying to sell your own act as a teacher/function band/original artist etc and you can survive on playing for nothing or very little, all well and good. If not, there are consequences for everybody, not just the starving artist.

I believe the main gist of her argument is that if, from now until Doomsday, we all want to have DJs playing recordings of gradually ageing music at our weddings/clubs/arenas/outdoor festivals with nothing new coming up behind and have our children take music lessons from Expert Village because aspiring musicians, teachers, and composers have been priced out of the market - then fair enough: that is indeed the essence of capitalism. If we would rather that weren't the case, then I guess we better do something about it; after all, our favourite pop and rock stars ain't gonna live forever - despite what the kids from Fame think.
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