The study of the social context of music must consider the day-to-day experiences of its practitioners; their economic, social, professional and artistic goals; and the material and cultural conditions under which these goals were pursued. This book traces the daily working life and aspirations of British musicians during the sweeping social and economic transformation of Britain from 1750 to 1850. It features working musicians of all types and at all levels - organists, singers, instrumentalists, teachers, composers and entrepreneurs - and explores their educational background, their conditions of employment, their wages, the systems of patronage that supported them, and their individual perceptions. Deborah Rohr focuses not only on social and economic pressures but also on a range of negative cultural beliefs faced by the musicians. Also considered are the implications of such conditions for their social and professional status, and for their musical aspirations.