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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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Authorship in the Age of Configurable Music

Authorship in the Age of Configurable Music

(p.312) 14 Authorship in the Age of Configurable Music
Rethinking American Music

Mark Katz

University of Illinois Press

Mark Katz takes up the up the subject of “configurable music,” by which he means music for which “electronic technologies are used to fashion works that are recognizable as permutations of [prerecorded sounds,] ‘found’ sounds and compositions.” He explores broader questions of authorship among two types of musicians: contemporary hip-hop DJs, known as turntablists, and mashup artists working at personal computers using digital sound files and constructing collages distributed over the internet. Despite their similarities, these two types of artists have very different views about the authorship of their creations. Turntablists in general strongly assert authorship over their work. By contrast, mashup artists tend to reject the notion that are authors (or composers) of anything, characterizing their practice as one of arranging, remixing, or juxtaposing.

Keywords:   Turntablists, hip-hop, mashup artist, configurable music, prerecorded sound, found sounds, internet, authorship, arranging

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