Abstract

Twice in the 1940s, the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) banned recording by its members. According to the union, the use of records on radio and in jukeboxes was replacing live performers, thus eliminating work for musicians. In an era of shifting federal policies and changing modalities of labor, the bans put sound at the center of a struggle between labor and corporate interests. The bans provide a case through which to explore the significance and multidimensionality of music as labor. As a case that is integral to, yet distinct from, histories of audio technology and intellectual property, the bans are an important yet overlooked moment in the formation of current configurations of sonic value.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1518
Print ISSN
0003-5491
Pages
pp. 791-823
Launched on MUSE
2013-08-23
Open Access
No
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