Artist, craftsman, teacher: “Being a musician” in France and Switzerland

TitleArtist, craftsman, teacher: “Being a musician” in France and Switzerland
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsPerrenoud, M, Bataille, P
JournalPopular Music and Society

This article deals with the working lives and careers of “ordinary musicians” (i.e., those who are neither rich nor famous) in France and Switzerland. It aims to show how national employment policies frame the different ways of “being” a musician in these two jurisdictions. After presenting the methodology of surveys that we conducted in each of the countries, we show the importance of the national context in shaping the bundle of tasks that define the job of a musician. We then compare the different types of careers and the various ways of being a musician in the two countries. This comparison leads us to distinguish between three ways of defining oneself as a professional musician – as an “artist,” as a “teacher,” or as a “craftsman.”