Away from the charts - of course - as it comes to an end, there's little doubt that 2011 has been a great year for music in a creative sense. The reasons for this are complex, but looking at things simplistically, as a profession bar a handful of globally polished mannequins, the role of musician is no longer one at which it's easy to make a living. Paydays are scarce and sporadic: ten thousand i-Tunes downloads this month? That'll have earned you about enough to splash out on a Sausage & Bean pasty from Greggs. And that's before your label have recouped their recording costs.
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