This chapter considers general characteristics of the musician. It looks at historical aspects of life as a musician including employment, roles, status and salary. The career of the instrumental musician from the eighteenth century onwards is marked by a diminution of ecclesiastical and court control, the popularity of virtuoso instrumentalists and the emergence of the concert orchestra. The dismissal of many eighteenth-century court musicians enabled numerous noblemen to maintain their own orchestras. Performance work for musicians was also to be found in pit orchestras, choral festival orchestras and at the theatre. Orchestral musicians attribute injury to ineffective rehearsal techniques, uninformed programming, and the performance of contemporary orchestral music designed for machines and not human beings. Careers in music are intense and short-lived, and factors contributing to attrition include family commitments, sporadic work, unsociable hours, managing multiple employments, and injury.