Sousa’s opposition to mechanical music is due almost exclusively to unfair copyright practice, as evidenced through his extensive meditation on the issue. He is right to demand compensation, but I find that his anecdotal fear-mongering does little to advance his cause. He says that “the boy with the penny whistle…may give an excellent imitation [of song], but…he is sent to bed as a nuisance” (279). Sousa was trying to associate mechanical music with “imitation” and “nuisance”, but in doing so he trivializes the boy’s musical talent. This seems to directly contradict his case against the phonograph on the basis that it threatens musical skill, something that should be preserved for artistic continuity. Sousa seems to contradict himself yet another time when he defends sheet music as protected intellectual property because “they are only one form of recording…newly fashioned work” (284). He goes on to reasonably say that sheet music and audio recordings are not the same thing, but I take issue with his larger use of skill as an argument against the phonograph. If recordings will cause the end of technical ability, the same logic suggests that the advent of sheet music would have ended creative performances or original compositions. Sousa would likely disagree with this claim himself, logically arguing that sheet music is simply a distribution tool that the highly-skilled composer uses to share original music with the creatively-disinclined recitation player. It follows that recordings are a distribution tool which skilled recitation players can use to share music with the artistically-disinclined masses. There will be fewer original composers if sheet music can record and share songs, and there will be fewer recitation players if audio recordings can record and share music. Sousa’s demands for “fair play” are warranted, but his shallow defense of musical skill implies that he does not view music as an art, simply as a means for his personal profit.