Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

For centuries, from medieval chant to today’s classical, jazz, popular, and film music, musicians in the Western musical tradition have reworked existing music into something new. This bibliography represents the current fruits of an ongoing effort to create a comprehensive, indexed, and annotated bibliography of books, articles, and theses that describe these uses of existing music.

This is a wide field, embracing borrowing, transcription, variations, quotation, paraphrase, parody, modeling, allusion, sampling, and many other ways to rework existing music, from troping and organum to collage and electronic manipulation. We mean our title to encompass the entire range of borrowing and reworking, from creating a new version of something—such as adding counterpoint, arranging a piece for a new medium, or producing a cover of an earlier recording—to making a new piece out of elements drawn from other musical works. In assembling this bibliography, our focus is on published writings that consider the reworking of one or more particular pieces into new compositions or new versions (as opposed to general stylistic allusion or resemblance). We also include sources that consider some aspect of borrowing and reworking as a whole or that assemble lists of borrowings.

The number of books, articles, theses, and other published sources that treat these issues is large and growing. Our aim is to help scholars and others interested in this topic find relevant materials quickly through this searchable database. We hope you will browse as well as search; having materials on all branches of the field side by side makes it possible to see connections between types of borrowing, or similarities between reworking in different eras and repertoires, or tools and methods that have been used in one area of research that could be usefully applied to another. By bringing together all the scholarship on the subject we can find, we also hope to demonstrate how pervasive such borrowing and reworking have been throughout all branches of the Western musical tradition.

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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