A. Rahmatian (editor), Collection of Essays: Concepts of Music and Copyright: How Music Perceives Itself and How Copyright Perceives Music

Dr Andreas Rahmatian of the University of Glasgow introduces his new interdisciplinary collection of essays on music and copyright.

Rahmatian Concepts CoverAndreas Rahmatian (ed.), Concepts of Music and Copyright: How Music Perceives Itself and How Copyright Perceives Music, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015

This edited collection of essays on music and copyright, with four musicians/musicologists and four copyright lawyers as contributors, grew out of an interdisciplinary workshop on music and copyright at the University of Glasgow which the editor organised on the occasion of the tercentenary celebrations of Glasgow Law School in 2013. The aim of this workshop was to bring together musicians and musicologists with copyright law specialists, and to make musicians think about copyright and lawyers reflect about music.

This collection is truly interdisciplinary, a path often welcomed but less often followed. The principal idea of this book is to present music scholars who examine copyright and copyright lawyers who look at music, each from their own discipline and from their familiar conceptual framework. Copyright lawyers may be perplexed when they read how music scholars perceive copyright, as a phenomenon of intellectual history or as the subject-matter of a philosophical argument, with little reference to specific statutes or case law, and music scholars may be puzzled by the lawyers’ extensive discussion of court decisions on copyright in musical works in which one may be able to discern only indirectly a notion of the art form of ‘music’. The creation of such a possible bewilderment is intentional. A multidisciplinary approach starts with the appreciation as to how scholars in other disciplines think.

Specialists in music and musicology discuss the idea of the musical work and of performance, as well as the question of ‘collective’ authorship in collaboration processes, especially where they involve performance and improvisation. Specialists in copyright examine the formal system of copyright and the way in which musicians, singers, performers deal with the law in practice. Copyright lawyers will also look at the building blocks of ‘musical works’ in law, how they are translated into copyright and how they reflect (or not) the reality of music creation and music performance. The final chapters will discuss the socio-political role and economic effects of certain aspects of copyright on the music business. The contributions concentrate on the subsistence and less on the infringement of copyright, and on the nature of its subject-matter (‘music’, or the ‘musical work’?).



  1. What is a ‘Musical work’? Reflections on the Origins of the ‘Work Concept’ in Western Art Music
    John Butt
  2. Music Performed: What is Beyond the Score?
    Charlotte Waelde
  3. Creativity and Possessive Interests
    Martin Parker Dixon
  4. The Elements of Music Relevant for Copyright Protection
    Andreas Rahmatian
  5. Who wrote Duke Ellington’s Music? Authorship and Collective Creativity in ‘Mood Indigo’
    Björn Heile
  6. Music and Co-authorship/Co-ownership
    Alison Firth
  7. For the Benefit of All Musicians? The Musicians’ Union and Performers’ Rights in the UK
    John Williamson
  8. How Notice-and-Takedown Regimes Create Markets for Music on Youtube: An Empirical Study
    Paul J. Heald

Download the publisher’s flyer for Concepts of Music and Copyright: How Music Perceives Itself and How Copyright Perceives Music.

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