MPSG 2017 Themed Session: Rethinking Collaborative Authorship through Music

Convener: Nina Penner (Duke University)


Kevin Ryan, “Music Samples and Collective Authorship: When Sufficient Control Isn’t Simply Sufficient”

Alessandro Bratus & Claudio Cosi, “Not Exactly the Thing I Had in Mind: Collaborative Authorship in Songwriting and Unintentional Shared Intentions”

Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey, “Tracking the Authorship of Orchestral Performance through Influence and Action”

Frances Morgan, “Input/Output: Questions of Authorship in Early Computer Music”


The nature of authorship in the collaborative arts has been subject to lively debate in philosophical aesthetics (see bibliography below), yet these debates have focused almost exclusively on cinema with scant attention to music. Music scholars, on the other hand, often need to make decisions about the authorship of particular musical works, yet there has been little theoretical discussion of how such determinations ought to be made. Through a conversation between philosophers and music scholars, this panel seeks to evaluate the applicability of current philosophical theories of authorship to music, propose revisions where necessary, and explore new models. 


Indicative Bibliography

The below brief bibliography comprises a selection of works that may be of particular relevance to those with an interest in attending this panel, or to those seeking to orient themselves therein, but is not intended as exhaustive, prescriptive, or required for audience members.

Bacharach, Sondra, and Deborah Tollefsen. 2011. “We Did It Again: A Reply to Livingston.” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 69, no. 2: 225–30.

Bacharach, Sondra, and Deborah Tollefsen. 2010. “We Did It: From Mere Contributors to Coauthors.” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 68, no. 1: 23–32.

Gaut, Berys. 2010. A Philosophy of Cinematic Art, Chapter 3. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hick, Darren Hudson. 2014. “Authorship, Co-Authorship, and Multiple Authorship.” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 72, no. 2: 147–56.

Livingston, Paisley. 2011. “On Authorship and Collaboration.” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 79, no. 2: 221–5.

Livingston, Paisley. 2009. Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman: On Film as Philosophy, Chapter 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Livingston, Paisley. 2005. Art and Intention: A Philosophical Study, Chapter 3. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Sellors, C. Paul. 2007. “Collective Authorship in Film.” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65, no. 3: 263–71.