The Business of Music is a Necessary Evil

My music-heroes have been telling me this for years.

While it acknowledges that musicians are not exempt from the challenges and obligations of businesspeople, it also gives them an excuse for not wholly participating.

I’ve talked to colleagues who absolutely hate their business obligations.  Actually, I think they fear these obligations.  Regardless, musicians, to their own detriment, generally neglect the business of music.

In a twisted way, this pleases me.

I’ve always wondered if my music-heroes really believed that the business of music is evil.  Either way, such proclamations would make a cunning strategy!  If students are convinced, they won’t be motivated to develop their people skills and to learn how to sell themselves.  They’ll just stay home and practice!

Whom does that benefit?

It benefits people like you and me; people who work to cultivate business skills.

Ironic, no?

Rather than write about how important it is for musicians to familiarize themselves with the business,

I’m going to confirm their suspicions:  The music business is in fact EVIL!  Stay far away!


  • Club owners are rude and difficult
  • There are no places to play
  • You’d better find a teaching gig
  • There’s no money to be made
  • Record companies are unfair
  • Music institutions poison the scene
  • Grants are impossible to get
  • Nobody appreciates the music
  • It’s not worth the effort

Now, if you’ll excuse me – I have to go book some gigs!

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