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It is indeed difficult to find the numbers for 19 or early 20s century, and it very much depends on the country. Here are some modern data: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_symphony_orchestras_in_the_United_States Please notice the RATE of decline! https://www.goethe.de/en/kul/mus/gen/kla/str/6475182.html


If we look just at the up-market classical composers we see the following pattern: Up until the end of the 18th century virtually all of them worked either as court musicians in the service of some king or nobleman, or else they were employed by the (Catholic or Protestant) churches. Bach, for example, was a court musician in the first half of his career, ...

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