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Musical experts, on behalf of litigants and courts, analyze works in music copyright infringement disputes using the tools and terminology of literate musicians. This is true despite the fact that the musical works involved in these cases tend to be relatively unsophisticated, and increasingly the creations of performers with little formal musical training.


This Glossary defines some of the music terms that are used in these discussions. These definitions refer to cases and, in many cases, to brief audible and graphical examples. Readers who are not musicians may find these definitions helpful as they compare contested works, and read comments made by musicians — not to mention those of judges who often flounder a bit while deploying music terminology — about the merits of a particular dispute.


This Glossary was created by Andre Redwood who recently completed his Ph.D. at Yale and is now Assistant Professor at SUNY, Albany.

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