The Metaphysics of Mash‐Ups

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Accounts of the ontology of musical works seek to uncover what metaphysically speaking a musical work is and how we should identify instances of musical works. In this article, I examine the curious case of the mash-up and seek to address two questions: are mash-ups musical works in their own right and what is the relationship between the mash-up and its source materials? As mash-ups are part of the broader tradition of rock, I situate this discussion within an ontology of rock as defended by Theodore Gracyk and Stephen Davies and offer some interpretation as to what their positions might be in regard to mash-ups. Finally, I argue that the account of mash-ups that best makes sense of our evaluative practices would hold that they are emergent musical works that are distinct in their own right and yet also happen to be cases of musical works that instantiate parts of other musical works
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Archival date: 2019-05-20
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