Music as Labour (Dagmar Abfalter & Rosa Reitsamer eds.)

Edited By Dagmar Abfalter and Rosa Reitsamer



This book brings together research at the intersection of music, cultural industries, management, antiracist politics and gender studies to analyse music as labour, in particular highlighting social inequalities and activism.

Providing insights into labour processes and practices, the authors investigate the changing role of manifold actors, institutions and technologies and the corresponding shifts in the valuation and evaluation of music achievements that have shaped the relationship between music, labour, the economy and politics. With research into a variety of geographic regions, chapters shed light on the various ways by which musicians’ work is performed, constructed and managed at different times and show that musicians’ working practices have been marked by precarity, insecurity and short-term contracts long before capitalism invited everybody to ‘be creative’. In doing so, they specifically examine the dynamics in music professions and educational institutions, as well as gatekeepers and mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion.

With a specific emphasis on inequalities in the music industries, this book will be essential reading for scholars seeking to understand the collective actions and initiatives that foster participation, inclusion, diversity and fair pay amongst musicians and other workers.


chapter |22 pages


By Rosa Reitsamer, Dagmar Abfalter

chapter 1|14 pages

Ironworks as Venues of Music Production

The Ostrava/Vítkovice Case from the 1890s to the 1910s

By Fritz Trümpi

chapter 2|15 pages

From Bohemia to the Balkans

Towards a Socioeconomic History of Itinerant Women Musicians, 1860–1889

By Nuppu Koivisto

chapter 3|14 pages

The MGM Lion’s Ominous Roar

(New) Technologies and the Disappearing Profession of Silent Movie Theatre Musicians in Croatia of the Late 1920s

By Mojca Piškor

chapter 4|15 pages

‘Work that Body’

Disco, Counterculture and the Promise of the Transformation of Work

By Tim Lawrence

chapter 5|16 pages

Hope, Labour and Privilege in American New Music

By John R. Pippen

chapter 6|15 pages

A Lockdown Recording Project

Jazz Musicians and Metaphors for a Working Life

By Michael L. Jones

chapter 7|16 pages

Emotional and Relational Labour in Music from a Feminist Perspective

By Emília Barna

chapter 8|16 pages

Afghan Pop in Europe

Migration, Affect and Musical Labour

By Marko Kölbl

chapter 9|15 pages

‘It’s a Kind of Macho Culture’

Changes and Continuities in Young Female Musicians’ Talk about Inequalities

By Christina Scharff

chapter 10|16 pages

Women Working in the Music Business

An Alumni Study

By Sally Anne Gross

chapter 11|15 pages

Musicians of the World Unite!

The Initial Years of the International Federation of Musicians

By Martin Cloonan

chapter 12|14 pages

Towards More Inclusion in the Music Industry

By Sophie Hennekam

chapter 13|15 pages

Moving Beyond @operaisracist

Exploring Blacktivism as a Pathway to Antiracism and Creative Justice in Opera

By Antonio C. Cuyler

OpenEdition suggests that you cite this post as follows:
pierrebataille (May 19, 2022). Music as Labour (Dagmar Abfalter & Rosa Reitsamer eds.). Working in Music. Retrieved July 15, 2024 from

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