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Authenticity Essay

  • Submitted by: fairygodmother
  • on April 14, 2015
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 2,983 words

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Below is an essay on "Authenticity" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Authenticity is generally defined as something which is genuine, sincere, or ‘with integrity’. As such, the link between authenticity and the concept of the cover song is an interesting one. The idea of a performer covering another musician’s song is a widely discussed issue, and raises many questions. Can a cover artist maintain their own integrity? Is the meaning of a song changed when it is not performed by the original artist? Does it even matter what a cover version sounds like, or is an individual’s liking of a cover version based on other factors, such as whether they feel a particular connection with the original version, or that the cover artist lacks the integrity needed to perform the song? There is also the issue of what could be considered a cover, for example, does a child singing a Britney Spears song count as a cover, or is it simply another version of the same song? The same question could also be asked of orchestras performing pieces which are hundreds of years old. For the purposes of this article, a cover will be considered such if it was performed by a signed band or artist, either live or as commercially released material.
In 2002, Allan Moore split the definition of authenticity into three factors, the first of which is ‘first person authenticity’, which as defined as, “when an originator (composer/performer) succeeds in conveying the impression that his/her utterance is one of integrity, that it represents an attempt to communicate in an unmediated form with an audience.” Many factors can influence this integrity; for example, in the 1950s Ewan McColl suggested that, “one should sing only in one’s own native tongue, and sing songs only from one’s own social or cultural setting.” Today, however, this is a problematic issue in popular music, partly due to globalisation. In 2003, singer/songwriter Jose Gonzalez performed a version of electo-pop duo The Knife’s 2002 Heartbeats, stripping the synth-laden original down to acoustic guitar and...

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