Elements of musical goods economics

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims at analyzing the economic value and the structure of the contemporary music industry (publishing, records, media, rights, musical instruments, teaching) and related sectors (consumer electronics, tourism, etc.) in Italy and in the world, also in relation to the current regulations, and to its historical roots.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student will be knowledgeable about the context within which the music industry operates nowadays, with specific reference to the related legislation (funding rules, fiscal rules, right share distribution, etc.), and to the historical background (from the birth of entertainment music in the 19th century up to current days).
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
Economic flows in the music industry. Economy's basic notions
Origins of the publishing industry. From Piedigrotta to Tin Pan Alley
Audience metering in radio and television
Birth and early development of the phonogram industry
Copyright revenue allocation in Italy (I). Analytical and non-analytical (supplementary) allocations
Show business, from café chantant to variety shows and musical comedy
Copyright revenue allocation in Italy (II). Coefficients and data handling
Birth and early development of radio broadcasting. The phonogram industry in the Great Depression
Phonograms, copyright, VAT. The phonogram market
From silent movie to the 'talkies'. Film music, birth of a language and of an industry
Record companies, contracts and copyright, in the USA and in Europe. Plagiarism and piracy
The ASCAP vs. NAB controversy. Birth of the DJ. Changes in music tastes in the USA
Music in adverts, and advertising music: from jingles, to MTV
Rock 'n' roll, 'independents' and majors. Alternatives to rock 'n' roll
The live music business: managers, promoters and other professionals
Music industry and media in Italy from the 1920s to the late 1950s. The Sanremo Festival.
Italian law on music events public financing. The FUS
Publishers, covers, the phonogram industry during the Cold War: the 'cantautori'
How research on music economy is made
From beat to rock: technological development and industrial globalization
The music instrument industry before and after personal computers
From progressive rock to punk: independent labels in the 1970s
Music economy in the digital age, from CDs to iTunes
'Low' and 'high' technology, from hip-hop to world music
Prerequisites for admission
Teaching methods
Attendance is strongly suggested, as several audiovisual examples are used in each lesson. Lessons are frontal, traditional, supported by music, video, slides.
Teaching Resources
F. Fabbri, Around the clock. Una breve storia della popular music, Utet Libreria, Torino, 2016. It's the main textbook, to be used as a reference, especially about the development of music technologies, the music industry, the media.
F. Fabbri, Il suono in cui viviamo, Il Saggiatore, Milano, 2008
Documents downloadable from the teacher's website:
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral exam. The object of evaluation is the student's ability to show a comprehensive look at today's main institutions in music economy, and to reconstruct the diachronic development of music industries and media.
Lessons: 48 hours