“That extra thing”- the role of session musicians in the recording industry

During the golden years of the recording industry, music production justified the emergence of professional musicians whose expertise was performing in the studio – the session musicians. After the digital revolution, different models for record production emerged.
This article aims to reflect upon the agency of session musicians. Questions of musicianship, authorship, listening and gender will be highlighted. My methodology involves research on concepts, and the comparison between behaviours pre and post digital era. I make use of ethnographic interviews with studio musicians, and research collected in documentary films, as well as books and articles focused on the recording studio setting.