The Creative System of Commercial Record Production
A system’s perspective sees the individual or agent as only one part of a system and underlines that creativity arises from the dynamic interaction between the agent and the system’s other elements: a domain and field. Systems are not isolated however, they are connected to, and dependent upon, other systems (Skyttner in General Systems Theory: Problems, Perspectives, Practice, World Scientific, River Edge, NJ, 2006). Their connections are so intricate and multi-layered that: ‘a system in one perspective is a subsystem in another’ (Laszlo in The Systems View of the World: The Natural Philosophy of the New Developments in the Sciences, George Braziller, New York, 1972, p. 14). Consequently, within the creative system of commercial record production, there are a series of multi-layered, vertical, horizontal and diagonally interconnected systems. In particular, the creative systems of songwriting, performing, engineering and producing can be seen to directly contribute to the production of the final recording (Zak in The Poetics of Rock: Cutting Tracks, Making Records, University of California Press, London, 2001). This chapter introduces the history, traditions and function of these distinct but interconnected systems beginning first with the creative system of songwriting.
- Barber, S. (2016). Will You Love Me Tomorrow: The Brill Building and the Creative Labor of the Professional Songwriter. In J. Williams & K. Williams (Eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Becker, H. S. (1982). Art Worlds. Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Blier-Carruthers, A. (2013, April 6). The Performer’s Place in the Process and Product of Recording. Presented at the CMPCP Performance Studies Network International Conference, University of Cambridge.Google Scholar
- Burgess, R. (2013). The Art of Music Production: The Theory and Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Erlewine, M., Thomas, S., & Woodstra, C. (1995). All Music Guide to Rock: The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop and Soul. San Francsico: Miller Freeman Books.Google Scholar
- Feld, S. (1994). From Schizophrenia to Schitzmogenisis: On the Discourses and Commodification Practices of ‘World Music’ and ‘World Beat’. In C. Keil & S. Feld (Eds.), Music Grooves. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
- Foucault, M. (1979). Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
- Grammy.org. (2008). Producer Grammy® Award Eligibility, Crediting Definitions. Available from: http://www.grammy.org/files/pages/Producer_Definitions.pdf. Last accessed June 2018.
- Greig, D. (2009). Performing for (and Against) the Microphone. In N. Cook, E. Clarke, D. Leech Wilkinson, & J. Rink (Eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Recorded Music (pp. 16–29). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Hayward, K. (2013). Tin Pan Alley: The Rise of Elton John. London: Soundcheck Books.Google Scholar
- Hennion, A. (1990). The Production of Success: An Anti-musicology of the Pop Song. In S. Frith & A. Goodwin (Eds.), On Record: Rock, Pop and the Written Word (pp. 185–206). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Howlett, M. (2012, June). The Record Producer as Nexus. Journal on the Art of Record Production (6). Available from: http://arpjournal.com/the-record-producer-as-nexus/. Last accessed February 2015.
- Jasen, D. A. (2003). Tin Pan Alley: An Encyclopedia of the Golden Age of American Song. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Katz, M. (2004). Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Kealy, E. R. (1990). From Craft to Art: The Case of Sound Mixers and Popular Music. In S. Frith & A. Goodwin (Eds.), On Record: Rock, Pop and the Written Word (pp. 207–220). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Koestler, A. (1975). The Act of Creation (2nd ed.). New York: Dell.Google Scholar
- Laing, D. (1969). The Sound of Our Time. Chicago: Quadrangle.Google Scholar
- Laszlo, E. (1972). The Systems View of the World: The Natural Philosophy of the New Developments in the Sciences. New York: George Braziller.Google Scholar
- Longhurst, B. (1995). Popular Music and Society. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- McIntyre, P. (2008, November). The Systems Model of Creativity: Analyzing the Distribution of Power in the Studio. Journal on the Art of Record Production (3). Available from: http://arpjournal.com/686/the-systems-model-of-creativity-analyzing-the-distribution-of-power-in-the-studio/. Last accessed Oct 2018.
- McIntyre, P. (2012). Creativity and Cultural Production: Issues for Media Practice. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- McIntyre, P. (2013). Creativity as a System in Action. In K. Thomas & J. Chan (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Creativity (pp. 84–97). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
- Moorefield, V. (2005). The Producer as Composer: Shaping the Sounds of Popular Music. London: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Neuenfeldt, K. (2004). ‘An Australian Case Study of Producing “World Music” Recordings’. In P. Greene & T. Porcello (Eds.), Wired for Sound: Engineering and Technologies in Sonic Cultures, pp. 84–102. Hanover NH: Wesleyan Press.Google Scholar
- Palmer, R. (1995). Rock and Roll: An Unruly History. New York: Harmony.Google Scholar
- Seabrook, J. (2015). The Song Machine, Inside the Hit Factory. London: Jonathan Cape/Vintage Publishing.Google Scholar
- Shuker, R. (1994). Understanding Popular Music. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Shuker, R. (2006). Understanding Popular Music Culture (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Tingen, P. (2005). Steve Albini: Sound Engineer Extraordinaire. Available from: https://www.soundonsound.com/people/steve-albini. Last accessed May 2018.
- Williams, A. (2010, December 3–4). Celluloid Heroes: Fictional Truths of Recording Studio Practice on Film. In Proceedings of the 2010 Art of Record Production Conference. Leeds, UK: Leeds Metropolitan University. Available from: http://arpjournal.com/1412/celluloid-heroes-fictional-truths-of-recording-studio-practice-on-film/. Last accessed Feb 2015.
- Zagorski-Thomas, S. (2006). “We Don’t Write Songs. We Write Records”: a compositional methodology based on late 20th century popular music. In Proceedings of the International Computer Music Association Conference (Vol. 2006, pp. 585–592). Available from: https://quod.lib.umich.edu/i/icmc/bbp2372.2006.121/1. Last accessed Oct 2018.
- Zagorski-Thomas, S. (2012, December 2–4). Towards a Typology of Issues Affecting Performance in the Recording Studio. In Proceedings of the 2011 Art of Record Production Conference. San Francisco, CA: San Francisco State University.Google Scholar
- Zak, A. (2013). I Don’t Sound Like Nobody: Remaking Music in 1950s America. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
- Bowie, David. (1974). Diamond Dogs. RCA.Google Scholar
- Clarkson, Kelly. (2004). Breakaway. Walt Disney/RCA.Google Scholar
- Dr Ross. (1954). Boogie Disease. Sun Records.Google Scholar
- Frankie Goes to Hollywood. (1984). Welcome to the Pleasuredome. ZTT.Google Scholar
- Jackson, Michael. (1982). Thriller. Epic/CBS.Google Scholar
- Lennon, John. (1971). John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. Apple.Google Scholar
- Little Walter. (1952). “Juke”. Chess Records.Google Scholar
- Perry, Katy. (2010). California Gurls. Capitol.Google Scholar
- Presley, Elvis. (1955). Mystery Train. Sun Records.Google Scholar
- Spears, Britney. (2001). Cinderella. Jive.Google Scholar
- U2. (1987). ‘Running to Stand Still’, The Joshua Tree. Island.Google Scholar
- West, Kanye. (2004). ‘Breath In, Breath Out’. The College Dropout. Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam.Google Scholar