Players’ Work Time by John Williamson and Martin Cloonan was published by Manchester University Press in September 2016. It was launched with an event at Senate House in London on 7th September.

It is now available from the publisher as a hardbackpaperback and eBook.Other sellers can be found here.


Read the introduction.


‘Players’ work time is a lovingly detailed account of one of Britain’s most interesting, enduring and idiosyncratic trade unions. Williamson and Cloonan have made an important contribution to the social history of music.’
Simon Frith, Tovey Professor of Music, University of Edinburgh

‘In this meticulously researched book, John Williamson and Martin Cloonan provide a long overdue history of the 120 years of the Musicians’ Union in Great Britain. By focusing on the unique challenges of unionizing musicians – a group whom too many still do not see as workers – Players’ work time is a crucial resource for scholars, activists, policy makers, and musicians interested in the music industries, the labour movement, and the lives and livelihoods of musicians.’
Christina Baade, Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Multimedia, McMaster University

‘Players’ work time does not just tell the history of the Musicians’ Union in vivid and fascinating detail; it also documents the dramatic changes that have been experienced by musicians. It reveals too how important the MU has been to shaping the industries in which those musicians work. This book is key reading for anyone who hopes to understand the business of making music.’
John Street, Professor of Politics, University of East Anglia