Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Finson, Jon. "Music and Medium: Two Versions of Manilow's 'Could it be Magic.'" The Musical Quarterly 65 (April 1979): 265-80.

Barry Manilow and Adrienne Anderson wrote two versions of the 1975 hit "Could it be Magic." The first version was intended for the LP and FM radio airplay, while a substantially shortened second version was intended for a 45 single and AM radio airplay. "Could it be Magic" quotes intact a substantial amount of Chopin's Prelude Op. 28, No. 20 in C minor; the first version of the song begins with measures one through eight of the prelude and ends with measures nine through thirteen of the prelude. There are several possible reasons for quoting Chopin: this could be simply another example of the growing number of rock musicians who quote classical music; the composers seem to share a fascination for modal ambiguity with Chopin; Chopin's preludes have become part of a narrow canon of classical music known to composers of all musical genres; and the constant demand for novelty in the popular music industry has encouraged popular music artists to draw from other styles to ensure quick composition. The two versions of Manilow's song allow us to examine how a popular artist responds to the demands of different media.

Index Classifications: 1900s, Jazz

Contributed by: Felicia Miyakawa

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