“Workers’ Rights and Performing Rights: Cinema Music and Musicians Prior to Synchronized Sound”

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter explores the role of the trade union and the collecting agency in relation to music in cinemas though the “silent” period and on to the emergence of synchronized sound. A brief history of the Musician’s Union and its relationship with other unions is followed by an investigation of the union’s role in supporting cinema musicians, and its negotiations with the principal employers’ organization, the Cinematograph Exhibitors’ Association. This is followed by an introduction to the Performing Right Society (PRS), the institution established by publishers and composers in 1914 to collect revenue for the public performance of their music. Here the vital role that cinemas played in the establishment and survival of the PRS during its infancy is highlighted, alongside the periodically difficult relationship between the Musicians’ Union and the PRS, in part due to the society’s classification system for the licensing of music in cinemas.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Sounds of the Silents in Britain
EditorsJulie Brown, A Davison
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages243-262
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780199797646
ISBN (Print)9780199797547, 9780199797615
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2012

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