There is a recent article by Christian Höppner, chairman of Deutscher Kulturrat and Deutscher Tonkünstlerverband and general secretary of Deutscher Musikrat, providing a brief analysis of the state of freelance musicianship in Germany and its many structural problems—the first and foremost of which is the precarious income level of the protagonists. The article was published in the journal Kulturpolitische Mitteilungen and is available here in full text.
Höppner sketches some very general approaches to facing the current challenges, but he remains vague in offering specific recommendations for action. In particular, it is unclear how to achieve higher social recognition for working in the cultural sector, and how to avert the general danger of de-professionalisation as delineated by the author. Furthermore, Höppner claims that access to the Künstlersozialkasse should be facilitated and that the category of unemployment needs to be redefined with regard to freelance musicians, but these steps require political initiatives that are yet to be launched. The by far most important desideratum seems to be a general fee scale for freelance musicians and educators, which Höppner acknowledges but doesn’t elaborate on how to establish and enforce new regularia, and how to ensure that these cannot be evaded by both customers and contractors (which is a serious issue with the existing recommendations of minimum fees). In sum, the article provides little more than a problem description, while strategies and possible solutions remain to be found.