chapter  3
15 Pages

‘Musical Personae’ revisited

WithPhilip Auslander

The setting of the performance, along with the appearance and manner of the musicians must be coherent for the musical genre within which the performance is framed. Audiences will perceive both as doing a version of what musicians are expected to do: presenting a musical persona appropriate to their respective genres. The identity of pit musician is defined by conventions of setting, appearance and manner as much as any other musical persona. However, the primary audience for the pit musician’s performance of persona is made up of the other musicians in the pit rather than the audience in the auditorium. Alice Cooper, at the other end of the continuum, represents musical persona as fictional character, in keeping with the conventions of glam rock or shock rock, genres with which he is associated, also from the early 1970s. The identity of pit musician is defined by conventions of setting, appearance and manner as much as any other musical persona.