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The Musical Work: Reality or Invention?Reality or Invention?$
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Michael Talbot

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780853238256

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313615

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Some Thoughts on the Work in Popular Music

Some Thoughts on the Work in Popular Music

(p.14) 1 Some Thoughts on the Work in Popular Music
The Musical Work: Reality or Invention?

David Horn

Liverpool University Press

This chapter considers the empirical observation that the term ‘work’ is rarely encountered in the discourse around popular music, except where legally required for copyright protection. The inappropriateness of the word and the concept it embodies can be attributed to the fact that the popular music event is influenced by the interaction among performer, performance and performed. This interaction will weaken if a musical text (the ‘performed’) is given a prescribed form, undermining the two other components of the triad. Many ‘work-like’ elements can be discerned in popular music, especially in the Broadway musical, but these are seldom clearcut or uncontroversial enough to justify using the word.

Keywords:   work, popular music, performer, performance, musical

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