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Lost in transcription? The songbook as mediator for the distribution of songs in a post-digital era

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Taking its departure in Beck’s rather unusual release Song Reader (2012), a collection of songs in the format of a sheet book rather than an album, the article investigates the concept of the songbook as mediator for the distribution of songs. This is done by the use of Kirkesangbogen (2017), an unauthorized supplement to the Danish Psalm Book, in which a great number of songwriters have contributed ‐ among these Nikolaj Paakjær. The article documents how one of his songs, included in Kirkesangbogen, came into existence in dialogue with his supervisor at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, where Paakjær attended the songwriting bachelor programme. In doing so, the article points to a number of pros and cons of publishing songs in the format of sheet music instead of the format of the album.
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Keywords: Beck; authentication; sheet music; songbook; transcription; ‘slow listening’

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2019

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  • The main aims of Journal of Popular Music Education, especially initially, will be iteratively to define the parameters of the field and disciplines of its readership and contributors (especially with regard to other journals in popular music and music education), this being an emerging field of scholarship and practice. The other principal aim will be to disseminate excellent critique and other forms of scholarship (e.g. phenomenological) in and related to the field. The journal will have an inclusive, global reach. 'Education' and 'popular music' are terms that we expect to be stretched and problematized through rigorous examination from multiple international perspectives.
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