America’s First Unprofessional Songwriter: Stephen Foster and the Ritual Economy of Copyright in Early American Popular Music

@article{Guthrie2019AmericasFU,
  title={America’s First Unprofessional Songwriter: Stephen Foster and the Ritual Economy of Copyright in Early American Popular Music},
  author={Jason Lee Guthrie},
  journal={Journal of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association},
  year={2019}
}
  • J. Guthrie
  • Published 2019
  • History
  • Journal of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association
This article explores Stephen Foster’s understanding and use of copyright. It examines what his copyright strategy can reveal about his professionalism as a songwriter and about his worldview as an important influencer of early American popular culture. It adapts the anthropological theory of ritual economy to theorize how Foster’s economic decision making, as revealed in copyright and related business records, can offer material evidence of his worldview. Foster’s failure to secure copyrights… 
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