Chapter 5 - The Status of Relationships

By exploring the convergence and distortions of private and public space brought about by social media, this chapter explains how these have served to amplify the impacts of having musical ambition. Such tensions resulting present specific challenges to all social relations, especially family and close personal relationships. Tensions between musicians and those closest to them – their friends, partners and family – further extend out into musical communities against a background of intensified competition and existing inequalities. Ultimately, it is proposed that economic relationships are personal and social relationships, and there is an impact this comes to have on musicians. The ‘fantasy of participation’ conflated with the myth of meritocracy that is so central to a musical ambition has a visibly polarising and insidious impact, especially on female musicians working in the UK music industries, which the final section explores. The chapter emphasises the psychic and affective dimension of ‘the status of relationships’ in order to better understand the particularly high levels of anxiety and depression reported by female respondents to the authors’ earlier survey.

Om Podcasten

An invaluable guide for those currently making their career in music. By listening to how musicians think and feel about their working lives, this book shows that if making music is therapeutic, making a career from it can be traumatic. It shows how careers based on passion have become more insecure and devalued, artistic merit and intimate self-disclosures are the focus of unremitting scrutiny, & personal relationships and social networks are bound up with calculative transactions. Going beyond self-help strategies, the authors challenge the industry to make transformative structural change.