Torn Between Neoliberal and Postmodern Trends, Corporatist Defence and Creative Age Prospects: The Ongoing Reshaping of the Classical Music Profession in Italy

Clementina Casula


In modern industrial societies, strongly associating work to tangible productivity and professions to formal regulation and protection of membership, the music occupation has represented a conundrum for theoretical analysis. In post-industrial societies, however, musicians are being recognised a pivotal role in capitalist economies, as part of a creative class sharing working conditions already defining artistic labour markets, but within a significantly changed regulative framework. Drawing on the literature and her field research, the author adopts a neo-institutional perspective to consider the reshaping of the classical music profession in Italy, exploring how collective and individual actors are responding to neo-liberal trends extending market logic to a music world crossed by processes of cultural declassification. Conclusions reflect over the ambiguities created by creative age prospects, in applying principles of economic hierarchisation within the field of musical production, and over the transient nature of professionalisation processes.


artistic occupations; classical music profession; creative economies; neo-institutionalism; neo-liberalism; cultural declassification

Full Text:



Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY- 4.0)

Firenze University Press
Via Cittadella, 7 - 50144 Firenze
Tel. (0039) 055 2757700 Fax (0039) 055 2757712