Bach's family were underpaid musicians, too.

Recently I started reading John Eliot Gardiner's Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven. I've had it for years and am happy to have finally taken it off the shelf.

There is a long section on Bach's family of musicians, and by that I mean the men who were actually written about, the ones who got to go out and work, and were then considered professionals.

And they were terribly, horribly underpaid.

A couple of days ago I caught up with a singing friend who also bemoans how low his singing pay has always been.

Then this morning I read this:

Page 59:

Even the long-suffering Heinrich is driven to point out to Count Schwarzburg ... that so far he has not received any remuneration for a whole year, having to 'bet for it almost with tears'.

This was from a day when a musician's meager monetary pay was accompanied by things like firewood and beer, maybe grain.

So really, not much has changed.


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