Last summer, I gave you my song: singing restrictions for amateur choirs in summer 2021 following scores of hard days

Beale, R (2022) Last summer, I gave you my song: singing restrictions for amateur choirs in summer 2021 following scores of hard days. In: Annual Conference of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, 7 - 10 April 2022, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

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Abstract

One of the many problems encountered during Covid restrictions related to the Government’s response to singing. While professional choirs were eventually permitted to sing together, restrictions imposed by the government remained in place longer for amateur choirs. But what does ‘professional choirs’ as opposed to ‘amateur choirs’ mean? Seeking their reasoning, I emailed the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport asking for clarity. The second of three replies to me about the definitions stated that "professional and amateur singing is distinguished by the fact that professional singers will be paid for this act as part of their livelihood, while amateur singers will not" (DCMS, 1/7/21). My response included "When amateurs are paid for singing does that mean that their payment is not part of their livelihood? Does this have tax implications?" (1/7/21) Governments need clear-cut, simple definitions, but are the definitions they have applied to this area of musical life correct? Scholarship about professional and amateur music-makers by Ruth Finnegan, Stephen Cottrell, and Robert Stebbins, seems to point to the fact the main distinction between professional and amateur in this context is reliant on individual self-definition. My paper draws on experiences of contemporary music-makers, examining original data collected between 2020 and 2021. It teases out answers about professional and amateur music-making before replying to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, who say, in their third reply (2/8/21), that they would be "more than happy" for me to send them a copy of my work.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: Bath School of Music and Performing Arts
School of Education
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2022 15:46
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2022 01:40
URI / Page ID: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/14700
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