Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Cusic, Don. "In Defense of Cover Songs." Popular Music and Society 28 (May 2005): 171-77.

Recording labels in Nashville demand that recording artists be singer-songwriters: that is, that musicians write and perform their own songs. Critics and fans believe that writing and performing one's own songs is the best measure of the legitimacy of a musician's abilities. This expectation ignores the potential value of cover songs and the interpretive skill of covering artists. Not only can a cover song provide a new interpretation of a song, but it may introduce music to new listeners who are unfamiliar with the original because of separation by time or genre. For covering artists, cover songs are important for three reasons: (1) the song has a proven track record of commercial success, (2) the song can act as a nod or tribute to an important influence on the artist, and (3) it can provide audiences with familiar music as they hear a new artist.

Index Classifications: 1900s, Popular

Contributed by: Paul Killinger

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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