Call-for Papers: Rethinking the Music Business – Music Contexts, Rights, Data and COVID-19

Call for chapters for an edited volume to be submitted to Springer’s Music Business Research Series

Guy Morrow (University of Melbourne, Australia)
Daniel Nordgård (University of Agder, Norway)
Peter Tschmuck (University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, Austria)


COVID-19 had, and is having, a global impact on health, communities and the economy. As a result of COVID-19, music festivals, gigs and events were cancelled or postponed across the world. This directly affected the incomes and practices of many artists and the revenue for many entities in the music business. Despite this crisis however, there are pre-existing trends in the music business – the rise of the streaming economy, technological change (virtual and augmented reality, blockchain etc.), new copyright legislation etc. Some of these trends were impacted by the COVID-19 crisis while others were not.


This edited volume will therefore be structured in two parts. The first part will feature more general perspectives and the second will focus on the impact of COVID-19 on the music business. This edited volume thus welcomes chapters that address issues within the music business before, during and after COVID-19.


The volume will be composed of 8000 word chapters (including footnotes and references), an Introduction by the editors and an Afterword.

– Deadline for submission of abstracts (300-400 words) and bio notes (100 words): 1 December 2020
– Notification of acceptance: 15 January 2021

– Book proposal submission: 20 January 2021
– Book contracted: February 2021
– First book chapter draft: 30 July 2021


Initial expressions of interest, enquiries and/or abstracts should be submitted to editors: Guy Morrow (guy.morrow@unimelb.edu.au), Daniel Nordgård (daniel.nordgard@uia.no) and Peter Tschmuck (Tschmuck@mdw.ac.at)



Call-for Papers: Rethinking the Music Business – Music Contexts, Rights, Data and COVID-19

Following Tschmuck (2017), we define the three core sectors of the music industries as including live music, recording and publishing and we argue that these sectors are linked by the musicians themselves and by collecting societies (pp. 2-4). These sectors are also closely related (as we saw through the COVID-19 crisis) and a growing number of companies integrate all three functions by acting as record labels, publishers as well as booking agents, promoters and even ticketing companies. Beyond this, the music industries (recording, publishing and live music) are embedded in secondary music markets, including merchandising, the synch rights business, branding, sponsorship, musical instruments, live music ancillary services and the media. We therefore welcome chapter proposals that deal with the core sectors and/or these secondary music markets.


In this book, we promote a critical approach for studying the music business in order to raise key questions concerning music contexts, rights, data and COVID-19. How does mechanical copyright function in the age of music and video streaming? What did the Music Modernization Act (MMA) in the US mean for songwriters within a globablising music business? In September 2018, the EU parliament agreed that user uploaded platforms should be subject to copyright and can no longer hide behind safe harbour laws. How did this change impact freedom of speech and the dissemination of memes within the music business? Can startup businesses afford to pay licensing fees to set up their businesses post this change? Are the music industries increasingly coming together because they are nowadays often being swamped by lobbying efforts of big tech companies?


With regard to the impact of COVID-19, did governments understand the diversity of businesses impacted? How did online, virtual, augmented and mixed reality (extended reality) experiences substitute for multisensory live music experiences during COVID-19 lockdowns? How were the most vulnerable music sector workers supported during this crisis? Was innovation and creativity harnessed to enable new players to participate globally and locally in the regeneration of the music business? Did the COVID-19 crisis change how we understand the value of music (intrinsic/cultural, economic, social etc.) in the music business?


We invite papers that explore a variety of different approaches, questions and methodologies to study the music business, including, but not limited to, the following themes and topics:

Music contexts



Extended reality


Safe Harbour Laws

Big Tech

Government support

Assisting governments in understanding the diversity of businesses impacted

Online festivals

Music & well being

The value of music (intrinsic/cultural, economic, social etc.)

Emergency funds


Innovation, creativity and/or business opportunities

Support for the most vulnerable music industry workers

Recommencing trade post-COVID-19


We intend this collection to bring together a diverse group of scholars and case studies to present a global perspective on the music business. We welcome contributions from across the globe which analyse and rethink the music business.


Tschmuck, P. (2017). The economics of music. Newcastle, UK: Agenda Publishing.





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