Karlyn DeSteno Humanities and Social Science
Intellectual Property and Processes of Musical Borrowing: Sound-Alike Composers and Their Work
All musical compositions borrow some material. It is not always easy for the law to draw the line between theft and inspiration. Recent changes in copyright law point to new systems of valuation of musical elements, both cultural and legal. This summer Ill be tracing these changes through a musical and legal analysis of music written for television and commercials, focusing on compositions which seek to copy elements of other, original works. Ill spend one month in Washington, D.C. using archives at the Library of Congress, and will also conduct a series of interviews with composers, producers, and musicians. My project will culminate in a Senior Honors Thesis for the Interdisciplinary Field Studies major.