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Fall 2021 Music UN3425 section 001
Music, Sound and the Law

Call Number 13514
Day & Time
TR 11:40am-12:55pm
405 Dodge Hall
Points 3
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Audrey Amsellem
Method of Instruction In-Person
Course Description This course is a historical overview of the relationship between music and the law in which students will employ both critical listening skills and critical thinking to understand how sound came to be understood as property, how the law impacts creativity, identity and labor, and how music has been used as a tool for enforcing and challenging legislative and political processes. We will discuss the origins of copyright law in the Enlightenment, how music has been used as a tool of colonization through formation of archives, examples of Native American conceptions of cultural property and modes of repatriation, the birth of the music industry and its segregationist history, how the law impacts creativity through the study of sampling, infringement and extension of rights, the ways in which musicians and listeners subvert legal strictures, how music can influence policy as protest or as propaganda, musical bans, noise ordinances, the relationship between music and the First Amendment, alternatives to copyright law in the digital age, music piracy, and the recent changes in the music industry to focus on data gathering as the primary model for music distribution. Music is our point of departure, and students will learn ways in which sonic practices shaped and challenged legislative paradigms. Our focus is on American musics such as Native American music, blues, country, jazz, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, experimental music, hip hop, pop, as well as some European classical music, “world” music, and EDM. Students will read and analyze legal primary sources such as the Music Modernization Act, as well as landmark court cases, critical legal literature, and musicological texts. Students will learn debate skills, acquire practical knowledge of the law through concepts such as fair use, the public domain and mechanical and performance rights, and develop listening skills to understand legal concepts such as infringement.  This course is open to students of all majors and will be of particular interest to musicians, students with plans to pursue a law degree in IP or technology law, as well as those interested in working in the music industry. There are no prerequisites and no previous knowledge of music, music theory, or the law is necessary. Masterpieces of Western Music or Asian Music Humanities are recommended.
Web Site Vergil
Department Music
Enrollment 11 students (12 max) as of 9:06PM Friday, November 26, 2021
Subject Music
Number UN3425
Section 001
Division Interschool
Campus Morningside
Section key 20213MUSI3425V001

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SIS update 11/26/21 21:06    web update 11/26/21 21:23