Document Type

Article

Abstract

This article is, in its most general sense, a critique of the idea of autonomy which is common to the understanding of both law and music. The idea of the autonomy of law, as an enterprise with its own rules and its own conventions, is parallel to a view of the composer working alone, uninfluenced by what has gone before, creating masterpieces free of cultural contexts. The stress here is on the point that both build on previous material, official and unofficial, and that in both there are latitudes and boundaries, ways in which the legal interpreter is free and ways in which the composer is constrained. The article is in two parts. Part I reviews some general questions about law and music and considers a number of forms of music that have been found to be useful metaphors in other fields. Part II of the article treats the folk element in high culture, arguing that both law and music contain illustrations of fusion folk.

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