Careers in Music

This chart was adapted from the USC Thornton School of Music flyer, "The Professional World of Music," which can be seen here.

The plethora of jobs listed here does more than just enumerate some of many possible income steams for musicians and music majors: it reveals a slimer of the music-"Art World," as descibed in Howard Becker's (a one-time jazz musician) landmark sociological monograph, Art Worlds. The music art world is the engine of music industy at large, and it includes and relies upon a wide range of industries, skills, and interconnected and symboitic relationships not emcompassed by merely "performance." Each aspect of the music art world contributes to music, culture, and our daily lives and environments, from the sining of a lullaby a child, to theme parks, to places of worship, to night clubs and opera houses. Charts like these help remind us that treating perfromance as the whole of "music" is a lie -- musical life has many options outside of performance that are just as meaningful, enjoyable, and significant. It's important to remind students, particulalry music majors whose identities are often tied closley societal definitions of performance-success, that music-performance need not consume you or satisfy every part of your personality. Embrace Walt Whitmans credo: "I am vast, I contain multitudes". The music art world has a place for more than just another performer, and in fact, it needs it to survive.

Click around the graphic below to explore some of the many careers included in the music Art World.