When originally published in 1971, Hollywood Studio Musicians was the first detailed analysis of the work and careers of production personnel in an industry devoted to mass culture. Previously, most researchers overlooked mass-culture industries as work settings, preferring to focus on content rather than the artists who created it. This lucid and insightful book looks under the hood of the Hollywood film scoring and recording industry, focusing upon the careers and work of top-flight musicians. A new preface by Howard S. Becker highlights the study's historical context and importance.
Based upon in-depth interviews with freelance musicians, Faulkner provides original insights into how we conceptualize occupations as well as the highly stratified system of professional prestige that results in what we now call the "A-List." Faulkner develops a framework for discovering and exploring how rapidly changing and demanding freelance work induces status hierarchies, sustains and updates collegial reputations, tightens social networks between contractors, and musicians, and restricts access to upward career paths.
This volume is a gem, a masterpiece of field research combined with probing, theoretically informed analysis. Aside from the value of its own findings, the volume offers students of sociology, film, and other creative industries a prime example of how to do good social science research. In short, it is a model for investigators to turn to when their own research needs help, an exemplar of how research is done when it is done well.
Table of Contents
New Preface to the Transaction Edition, Howard S. Becker
2. The Hollywood Studio Scene and the Free-Lance Musician
3. Career Problems, Comparative Failure, and Going Commercial
4. Making It in the Studios
5. Skill, Dignity, and Flexibility
6. The Hiring Structure and Status Situation
7. The Studio Pro's Perspectives
8. Concluding Observations
A. Sample and Methods
B. Some Personal Reflections on the Research