Organizing Relationships in the Recording Industry: Contracts and Patronage

  • Tuulikki Pietilä
Part of the Pop Music, Culture and Identity book series (PMCI)


In South Africa one constantly hears musicians express two seemingly contradictory statements about the music industry. One of these is that ‘the music industry is all about relationships’, while the other asserts that ‘the music industry is all about ownership’, wherefore one has to ‘be independent’ or ‘go independent’ and ‘corporatize his or her skills’. The latter statement refers to the ownership of musical works and is often accompanied by explanations of how musical creations should be understood as a form of property comparable to land, with the contest over their ownership of equal political and economic importance. The two root statements, one emphasizing relationships, the other independence, seem to contradict each other, yet they are often expressed by one and the same person. This chapter aims to make sense of this apparent paradox by examining these and other statements in the context of the past and present recording industry relations in South Africa.


Music Industry Organize Relationship Royalty Rate Musical Work Record Company 
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Copyright information

© Tuulikki Pietilä 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tuulikki Pietilä
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HelsinkiFinland

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