2021-09-17 09:38:53
Keith Kahn-Harris: In praise of the part-time musician theory

guardian.co.uk

I’m here to praise the music fanatic who holds down a reasonable if unexciting job, turning in a decent day’s work after spending the night in a recording studio or driving back from a gig in Stoke.It is this kind of musician – dedicated, self-sacrificing, self-disciplined – whose efforts are the lifeblood of a host of vibrant music scenes and who will be least affected by the current turmoil in the music industry. Any money they made was only ever ploughed back into music. Lower revenues will certainly make them dig deeper and sacrifice more for their art, but it will not stop the music.

What the free music revolution threatens is not music per se, but the idea that you have to be a musician full time to be truly creative. You don’t. Too often the commercially viable musician sinks into an effete preciousness that is the death knell of creativity. Being a “full time” musician didn’t seem to spur Axl Rose into making Chinese Democracy any quicker.

It is time that the importance of day job-supported musicians was more widely recognised – for it is they who will ensure that music will survive the death of the music industry.

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