Music and Capitalism

On p. 98-99 of Music and Capitalism, Tim Taylor writes, “These and other Western star musicians employ other common discourses about the musicians with whom they worked and the musics they appropriated or collaborated with. The dominant ideology and discourse are that non-Western musics are a kind of natural resource that is available for the taking, though these acts of appropriation are frequently tempered by the Western star’s appearance alongside the non-Western musicians in publicity photographs, on recordings, and in liner notes.”

Review your notes from class about important words, or look these up as necessary: discourse, appropriation, collaboration, ideology

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Then, write a response that does the following:

  1. Explain: what does this quotation mean in your own words?
  2. How does the Graceland example fit in with what Tim Taylor is talking about here?
  3. Think of another time that musicians with different power positions are part of a musical performance or recording (you can use one in the chapter, like Buena Vista Social Club, Deep Forest, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” “Return to Innocence,” “El Condor Pasa,” or Talking Timbuktu, or one not in the reading that interests you). Describe the relationship between the musicians, and argue whether you think the album/performance is appropriation, collaboration, sampling, or something else. If the artists have different positionalities in terms of race, gender, and/or country of origin, comment on the effect this has. Give your opinion on ethical questions raised in this particular situation.

Your response should be about 3-5 paragraphs (minimum 12 sentences) in length. For part c, you will need to reference and cite an additional source (i.e. web site, album, academic source, news article, etc.)

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