Unfree masters : recording artists and the politics of work
- Matt Stahl.
- Durham, NC : Duke University Press, 2013.
- Physical description
- x, 296 p. ; 25 cm.
- Refiguring American music.
Archive of Recorded Sound
ML3477 .S725 2013
- Unknown ML3477 .S725 2013
- Stahl, Matt, 1965-
- Includes bibliographical references (p. -282) and index.
- American Idol and narratives of meritocracy
- Rockumentary and the new model worker
- Carving out recording artists from California's seven-year rule
- Freedom, unfreedom, and the rhetoric of (the recording) contract
- Recording artists, work for hire, employment, and appropriation.
- Publisher's Summary
- The widespread perception of singers and musicians as free individuals doing enjoyable and fulfilling work obscures the realities of their occupation. In Unfree Masters Matt Stahl examines recording artists' labour in the music industry as a form of creative work. In Part 1, Stahl examines the television show American Idol and the 2004 rockumentary Dig!, tracing the ways popular music making is narrativized in contemporary America and showing how such narratives highlight musicians' negotiations of the limits of freedom and autonomy in creative cultural-industrial work. In Part 2, Stahl's study of struggles between recording artists and record companies over laws that govern their working and contractual relationships reveals further tensions and contradictions in this form of work. Stahl argues that media narratives of music making as well as contract and copyright disputes between musicians and music industry executives both contribute to American socio-economic discourse and expose a foundational tension between democratic principles of individual autonomy and responsibility and employers' legal power to control labor and appropriate its products. Stahl asserts that the labor issues that he discloses in music can stimulate insights about the political-economic and imaginative challenges currently facing working people of all kinds.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
- Publication date
- Refiguring American music
- 9780822353287 (cloth : alk. paper)
- 0822353288 (cloth : alk. paper)
- 9780822353430 (pbk. : alk. paper)
- 0822353431 (pbk. : alk. paper)