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Tsuker A.

To the problem of authorship in the mass music

The problem of authorship in the mass music is complex and controversial. It often becomes a stumbling block for musicological analysis, that relies on the stable, written text of the respected author – composer. The article considers various cases of composer’s role in the creation of mass music. This music presents fundamentally different system of relationships between the composer and performer than it is in the academic music tradition. The performer has the right to invade the composer’s text that consequently becomes a result of a collaborative creative process.

On the example of Russian mass music, the researcher shows how, liberating from the artificial control “from above”, it was returning to its natural forms of existence, moving from professionalism to amateurism. Such genre models as amateur song, music of VIA (vocal-instrumental ensembles), rock compositions replaced the monopoly of soviet mass song. A mass music in general occupied a niche between the professional individual and collective anonymous art of folkloric type.

The attitude towards the score as a way of immortalization of author’s idea in mass music also reveals some ambivalence: from the relatively detailed fixation of the piece that possesses compositional stability to the maximal reduction of the notation role until its full absence, what provides the pieces with mobility. Separate angle of the article – the role of the author-composer in the environment of modern pop-industry, show business, computer technologies, where he gives way to the other participants of music engineering field that possess economical or technological powers: producer, sound designer, arranger, clip maker.

Key words

mass music, authorship, professionalism, amateurism, folklorism, show business, pop industry, digital recording, sampling.

For citation

Tsuker A. To the problem of authorship in the mass music // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2020. No. 4. Pp. 11–18.