Within the domain of recorded popular music, some recordings are identified as “covers.” I argue that covers differ from mere remakes in requiring a particular communicative intention, thus locating cover recordings in the category of extended allusion. I identify aspects of musical culture that encourage and discourage covers, providing an explanation of why covers are rare in the jazz and classical music traditions.
The author, Theodore Gracyk has written many articles on aesthetics and its history, and of three philosophical books on music: Rhythm and Noise: An Aesthetics of Rock Music (Duke 1996), I Wanna Be Me: Rock Music and the Politics of Identity (Temple 2001), and Listening to Popular Music (Michigan 2007). He is co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music (2011). His most recent book is The Philosophy of Art: An Introduction (Polity, 2011).
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