Musical Appropriation, Musical Meaning, and the Law
2004 Interdisciplinary Law and Humanities Junior Scholar Workshop Paper
37 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2004
The following paper is an excerpt from a book I am currently writing entitled Musical Appropriation, Musical Meaning, and the Law. This monograph explores two fundamental questions from the point of view of a musicologist:
- How has intellectual property (IP) law impacted musical creativity within the past fifty years?
- How have restrictions on appropriation changed the way music communicates?
Important authors in the field of cultural studies have claimed that IP has exerted a categorically negative effect on musical creativity. My book challenges this conventional wisdom by arguing that copyright law has led to a cultivation of techniques that refine, rather than stunt, music's capacity to communicate. This project provides a nuanced analysis of the effects of IP law on musical meaning, and will be an important contribution to the fields of musicology, cultural studies, and the law.
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