WRITING ASSIGNMENT For each module, you will be expected to complete short writi

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For each module, you will be expected to complete short writing concerning the topics covered by the lecture and readings for that module and insert it as a text entry below. Writings are to be no less than 300 words and no more than 400 words in length, and will be assessed taking into account five areas: 1) word count; 2) summarize the key changes in scholarly perspective over time on the particular topic for each module; 3) critical compare and contrast opposing claims; 4) clear expression of your perspective on the subject matter; and, 5) use of proper grammar and punctuation.
For module 2, your paper should reflect your knowledge of the issues, for copyright holders and bootleggers, particularly involving song sheets.
About Module 2
SONG SHEETS (1880s-1940s)
Module 2 covers the 1890’s through 1940’s when popular songs, in the United States, were distributed mainly by means of song sheets and sheet music.
After successful completion of this module you will be able to:
synthesize your knowledge of bootlegging and illegal activity involving song sheets
discuss the implications surrounding the legal and illegal use of song sheets in the early 1900’s
Introduction to Module 2
I love the subtitle of our textbook: Disobedient Music Distribution Since 1929. It seems if there
is something to be gained, there will be disobedience. This is especially true when money can be
made. And the music distribution system at the end of the 1800s and start of the 1900s provided
a great opportunity for disobedient money making. Said another way, illegal money making.
It’s hard for us to imagine today, but before 1880, there was no recorded sound. In order to hear
music, you had to create it yourself or listen to others make it live. So there wasn’t any need for
copyright laws for music recordings. But the phonograph changed all that, and by the early
1900s, there was a flourishing music distribution system that recorded musical artists and sold
those recordings.
In addition to the audio business, a thriving sheet music enterprise evolved so that people could
have both the lyrics and printed notation of popular songs, so they could play them on piano and
sing along. It was an exciting time when technology was changing rapidly, and it led to a good
deal of illegal activity. I hope that sounds familiar to you, as new technology changes have done
the same kinds of things over the past few decades.
This module covers the first three chapters of our text. Chapter 1 is primarily a discussion of the
advent of dissemination rights for copyright holders. This involves sheet music, audio and video
recordings, radio broadcasts, and public performance. Then chapter 2 and 3 deal with the advent
of illegal song sheets and the process for how these eventually became legitimate as the music
industry adjusted to song sheet piracy through assimilation.
I hope you enjoy working through this module.
Pop Song Piracy: Disobedient Music Distribution since 1929
Read chapters 1-3 in the class textbook:
Chapter 1: Tim Pan Alley’s Near-Perfect Distribution System
Chapter 2: Bootlegging Song Sheets
Chapter 3: The Content and Uses of Song Sheets

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