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Rethinking American Music$
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Tara Browner and Thomas L. Riis

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042324

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042324.001.0001

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Living in the (Publishing) House of Music

Living in the (Publishing) House of Music

A Short History of Composer-Driven Independent Publishing and Distribution in the United States

(p.138) 6 Living in the (Publishing) House of Music
Rethinking American Music

Amy C. Beal

University of Illinois Press

From William Billings’s self-published scores in the 1770s to Carla Bley and Michael Mantler’s New Music Distribution Service (NMDS) in the 1970s and beyond, composer-driven publishing and distribution efforts have aided the survival of independent and experimental music in the United States since the very first volumes of original music came into being. In her short history of these composer-driven enterprises in the United States, Beal expounds on the entrepreneurial spirit of American composers, demonstrating how publication series, composer collectives, and distribution services have proved critical to the dissemination of music that often lives in the uncharted territory beyond institutional walls, ultimately beyond the whole idea of imprimatur.

Keywords:   entrepreneurial spirit, publication series, distribution services, William Billings, Carla Bley, Michael Mantler, New Music Distribution Service

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