The Identity of Music: Conceptual Changes and Practical Challenges for Libraries

By Karl Madden.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Conceptual changes in music and audio technology have far-reaching implications for libraries. The ideas and recordings of celebrated pianist Glenn Gould in the Nineteen-Sixties are examined in light of modern technology and the evolving identity of music.

A contextual model for identity of music is employed, which accounts for modern malleability of conception, authorship, style, medium, and availability. Recorded sound as primary manifestation (not reproduction) is conceived within the context of digital audio formats and software applications. Multi-authorship, changing identities of performer/composer, cross-pollination, education, and integration of performance media join emergent holistic syntheses in the arts.

Progressive wisdom of music librarians responding to modern needs of patrons fuels library adaptation/innovation in idiosyncratic areas of music classification, cataloging, storage, and retrieval. Innovation fuels creativity in teaching and learning, while preserving and strengthening the historical foundations of music.

Keywords: Music Recording, Libraries, Music Identity, Conceptual Change, Technology, Glenn Gould, Aesthetics

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.15-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 620.464KB).

Prof. Karl Madden

Assistant Professor, Librarian, Department of the Library, Medgar Evers College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, New York, USA

Prof Madden is an academic librarian at Medgar Evers College (City University of New York), Brooklyn NY. He has Master's degrees in Library Science, and in Music (Guitar Performance). Research interests include Music, Visual Arts, Education, History, Collection Development and Cataloging in Libraries. Raised in a college town in Oregon, and having lived in many places, including London, England, he has been, by turns, a professional musician (guitarist and teacher), teacher of English-as-a-Second-Language in Japan, and academic librarian. In addition to academic research, his interests include songwriting and recording, visual art (drawing and painting), reading, and traveling. He seeks to become involved in as many international conferences as possible, in part to enjoy cross-cultural enrichment.

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