----- Original Message -----
From: "phillip holmes" <insuranceman@xxxxxxxxxx>
Agreed, and most musicians (speaking of classically trained
instrumentalists and vocalists) have already made adjustments. Most are
teachers first, professional musicians second. This is the way it was
for most of recorded history anyway. Bach didn't make a living playing
organ and harpsichord, and he didn't get paid union scale. Musicians
had a pretty cushy deal going while there were wealthy benefactors who
cared, but the world's tastes have changed for the worse (IMO--not a
humble opinion either). Also, I don't think that recording contracts
kept these orchestras going. Most didn't have contracts. It was local
community involvement, the chamber of commerce types, wealthy people
with time on their hand, etc.....
Interestingly, this approach seems to depend on one important social
opinion...that, somehow, "classical" music is innately superior (at
least in the sense of the "elite" preferring it) to other forms of
music. This means that a community, in order to be a "respectable"
community (in the sense of upper-class = respectability) must have
classical musicians, classical performances, and if at all possible
a classical ("symphony") orchestra!
One result was that, at least in the late-nineteenth/early-
twentieth centuries, classical artists were spared the sort
of social-class demotion that applied to most other musicians
and stage performers (and that still seems to be true, though
less noticeable, in this day and age!).
It is also interesting to note an opposite development! In this
day and age, particularly in the USA, country & western music has
been adopted as what might be called "the official 'working class'
Steven C. Barr