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The Value of Music in Melanesia: Creation, Circulation, and Transmission Under Changing Economic and Intellectual Property Conditions

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Abstract

This article examines the principles governing the ownership and circulation of music in Melanesia. It demonstrates how musical practice is part of what connects people in kin-based, local, and regional systems of reciprocity, recognition, and social reproduction. The article outlines the principles that underlie these systems and shows how they are of ten starkly at odds with assumptions about value and transaction in capitalist, commodity-focused economies. The contrast is epitomized in the differences between connections forged under Melanesian political economy and those in western intellectual property law, specifically copyright. The article makes the case for understanding the value of con temporary as well as traditional forms of music in this frame, focusing on relationality and obligation in both rural and urban contexts.
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halshs-02902646 , version 1 (06-01-2022)

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James Leach, Monika Stern. The Value of Music in Melanesia: Creation, Circulation, and Transmission Under Changing Economic and Intellectual Property Conditions. Anna Morcom; Timothy D. Taylor. The Oxford Handbook of Economic Ethnomusicology, Oxford University Press, 2020, 9780190859633. ⟨10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190859633.013.33⟩. ⟨halshs-02902646⟩
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