There are 42 ways a musician can earn a living…

There are 42 ways a musician can earn a living…


norman lebrecht

December 03, 2015

Future of Music Coalition has conducted an earnings survey among US composers and musicians and followed it up with detailed financial case studies.

They arrived at the conclusion that there are 42 ways that musicians are augmenting their income, including ringtone revenue (big for Boccherini), ‘neighboring rights royalties’ (is that the people next door paying you to let them sleep?) and ‘composing original works for broadcast’ (not much money there).

That’s 42 ways to feed the family.

Then they found three more. Read the full 45 here.




  • Dominy Clements says:

    43: Busking.

  • Emil says:

    Of course, clicking on “Neighbouring rights royalties” would immediately have told you that they are “Collected for the foreign performance of your recordings.” It would have taken you the total of 3.5 seconds, max.

    • Harold Lewis says:

      Chill out, man (as we say in the north of Scotland). Norman’s comment was obviously tongue-in-cheek.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      If you don’t like Slipped Disc, please leave now.

      • V.Lind says:

        Of course Emil’s comment was ridiculous, Harold Lewis’s was right and you were clearly joking above. But this is at least the second poster you have told to sod off today, and there have been others lately — and all seemingly because they had the temerity to challenge something you posted yourself. You invite comments to your blog — must they all agree with everything you say and never contradict a view or even a (possible) error that has crept in? Is obeisance the price of admission? it seems to me a bit autocratic and creates a rather tense atmosphere. This forum seems to me to work best when there is spirited debate.

        • Harold Lewis says:

          It seems to me that the posters whom Norman has ‘disinvited’ have in common something rather tacky and unpleasant, namely a degree of personal animosity toward him that leads them to exploit the merest excuse to find fault with the details of his posts, as if it were their function to mark some examination paper in blog-writing or musical journalism. No doubt their petty fault-finding has given them some satisfaction.

  • Cubs Fan says:

    46) Sell your instrument(s)

  • Alvaro says:

    #4: Sell some records…..then mom’s sofa, dad’s TV…….

  • John Borstlap says:

    For performers, best option is to get into the ensemble or orchestra of a Hungarian nobleman with a large estate and good food. For composers, best is to get three rich people to pay an allowance which leaves you entirely free to write what you want.

  • William Safford says:

    After all, 42 is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.