Assignment Instructions

Discuss the idea of artistic authenticity..

Please address the following topic for Discussion 1:
Discuss the idea of artistic authenticity. Specifically, discuss how a music performance can be real vs. fake (by “real”, I mean a performance that springs up naturally from a person; by “fake”, I mean one that is copied directly from someone else). In Module 1, Professor Babin characterized Bowie’s The Width of a Circle as authentic (real) and his song China Girl as inauthentic (fake). Do you agree with this characterization? Why or why not? Feel free to write about other examples in popular music instead of the songs mentioned above, such as Lead Belly’s Rock Island Line vs. Lonnie Donegan’s Rock Island Line.
Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
What makes a music performance authentic (i.e. how is artistic authenticity judged)? Consider who the musicians are, what they represent, the lyrics they used, and the historical context that the songs were performed in. Do you think it’s possible for a music performance to be truly authentic? Are there degrees of authenticity? What value does a conversation about artistic authenticity have for society?

Discuss the idea of artistic authenticity.

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