American Popular Music and Its Business: The First Four Hundred Years, from 1790-1909 - Vol. 2

American Popular Music and Its Business: The First Four Hundred Years, from 1790-1909 - Vol. 2

American Popular Music and Its Business: The First Four Hundred Years, from 1790-1909 - Vol. 2

American Popular Music and Its Business: The First Four Hundred Years, from 1790-1909 - Vol. 2

Synopsis

This volume focuses on developments in the music business in the twentieth century, including vaudeville, music boxes, the relationship of Hollywood to the music business, the "fall and rise" of the record business in the 1930s, new technology (TV, FM, and the LP record) after World War II, the dominance of rock-and-roll and the huge increase in the music business during the 1950s and 1960s, and finally the changing music business scene from 1967 to the present, especially regarding government regulations, music licensing, and the record business.

Excerpt

On November 18, 1790, Andrew Adgate, a Philadelphia brush-factory operator and mechanic whose love of music had brought about formation of America's earliest and most advanced free school for "spreading the knowledge of vocal music," entered for copyright registration the first musical work printed in the new nation. In accordance with the first copyright law of the United States, passed on May 31, 1790, by the first Congress, "for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies," and signed by President George Washington, Adgate paid sixty cents to the Philadelphia District Court clerk, who then entered notice of the work as the tenth title in a new ledger. By this action, Adgate, as a citizen, was assured that his book could not be printed for the next fourteen years without his permission, provided he advertise the fact of registration and deposit a copy of the work within the next two months. Armed with this grant of protection, Adgate sold his new work, the third edition of his Rudiments of Music, or Philadelphia Harmony, together with other of his compilations, both at his metal brush- and comb-making establishment and at the Uranian Academy, which he had founded in 1785. This interdenominational institution, dedicated to encouraging participation in church singing, had quickly become one of the new capital city's best-known and important cultural forces.

The first American copyright law was based on England's 1710 Statute of Queen Anne. Like this forerunner, according to copyright expert Barbara Ringer, it was "a narrow stingy law that had to be expanded piecemeal during the century that followed." The British legislation was the result of persistent lobbying by London bookseller publishers and naturally favored their interests, although subsequent revision during the eighteenth century increased authors' rights. The new American republic continually failed to do the same in any truly meaningful way for more than one hundred years.

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