Musicians Being

Self-employed musicians are getting “levels of low pay” and in some cases no pay, according to new research commissioned by the UK’s Musicians’ Union.

The Working Musician” report published Dec. 10 revealed that after years of training, more than half of professional musicians still get paid less than £20,000 ($32,200) per year and 60 percent have worked for free over the past year.

Against the backdrop of the autumn statement and the omission of music from the Government’s £6 million boost to creative industries, the MU reckons the survey results are “ominous for the future of music in the UK.”

MU general secretary John Smith says many of the MU’s members are small- to medium-sized enterprises “battling against a tide of arts cuts and reduced income due to piracy.”

He believes a small but significant investment by government could make all the difference in the struggle to survive.

“What’s also interesting is that of the musicians surveyed who receive royalty payments; over half said that they represented an important additional source of income for them. This finally puts paid to the argument that ordinary musicians do not benefit from copyright,” Smith said.