The career of a musician is precarious. The work is hard, the pay can be low, and the hierarchies are formal and long-standing. Much of the work is repetitive. ‘Musicians’ considers who the musicians are and why they choose that particular career path. The decision to become a musician is steeped in history; musicians often run in families. With a typical orchestra career lasting twenty-five or thirty years, players are first engaged with probationary contracts and go on to achieve tenure through a review process. European white male musicians dominated the profession until towards the end of the twentieth century.