can you record "Esme" for me?

Posted In: Repertoire

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    briannasnyder on #143477

    I’m getting married and desperately in search of the instrumental version of Joanna Newsom’s “Esme.” I can’t find it and wonder if someone could record — a very rudimentary recording will suffice! on a laptop or a cell phone or anything — it for me.

    The sheet music:


    The instrumental version I want:

    I’ll pay if someone can transcribe that video version or just record that instrumental. Let me know what you’d charge. I’m so so so so so grateful for your help.

    Gretchen Cover on #143483

    Could one of the experienced harpists in matters like this comment. We have an earnest person who wants music not available. He got the PDF of the score from an open source and has posted a clip of the original song for everyone to hear. He is offering to pay for professional services. Obviously, his intentions are honest.

    But what are the ethics/legalities behind this? Is it ethical/legal to transcribe and post Esme? Would it be ethical/legal for a harpist to record or play this at his wedding? Should Brian be advised to seek out Joanna Newsome or her agent to get permission to use the music? If someone dropped this request on me, I wouldn’t know how to answer it.

    Kimberly Rowe on #143485

    Hi Gretchen: Just weighing in to comment that it is probably not OK to post the sheet music for this song—therefore I have removed the link from this thread. I couldn’t tell from the site it came from whether the copyright owner had given permission for the music to be posted or not, but it didn’t appear so. Our site terms do stipulate that users not share copyrighted material.

    I’ll let someone else weigh in about the rest of Gretchen’s question!


    diane-michaels on #143539

    Dear Brianna-
    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I’m replying to address the legal questions raised. I’m too busy to take on this project, but maybe someone else will be able to help you.

    Regarding the legal right to arrange and record music not in the public domain, this comes from a legal website: “If you create a new arrangement and you want to exploit it on records, you generally need a “Compulsory Mechanical License”. A Compulsory Mechanical License, or Mechanical License, allows you to make a sound recording of your new arrangement, without the permission of the copyright owner, provided you do not change the words or fundamental character of the music, and you pay the statutory Mechanical Royalty Rate. Publishers will usually include the right to make arrangements in a Mechanical License, provided the publisher receives full ownership of any arrangement created. A mechanical license can only be used after the original copyright holder has exercised their exclusive right of first publishing. In the absence of a Mechanical License, you need to contact and negotiate with the music publisher, or other copyright owner, directly. To learn more about obtaining Mechanical Licenses, contact EMG or The Harry Fox Agency.”

    Be prepared to wait perhaps up to 2 months to get the license.

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