column

Making Money

Home Forums Coffee Break Making Money

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #109714
    Indra Prabowo
    Participant

    I’m thinking for making classical music transcription for lever harp, but I’m afraid many lever harpist have their own arrangement.

    #109715

    Here is my biggest gripe about lever harp arrangements — and that is you will expect a certain sonority in a chord but the arranger has left something out to make it easy for lever harp and it sounds just awful. I have a few like that and as far as I’m concerned, they are fire-starting material. I refuse to play them….or I mark them and change them all around to make them palatable. I can’t STAND that kind of thing. It’s so cheesy. There seem to be quite a few like that……thin chords or even worse….wrong chords. I guess there is a reason certain pieces were not composed for lever harp….or shouldn’t be arranged for lever harp.

    Briggs

    #109716
    karen-conoan
    Participant

    First–how do you get copyright permission for an arrangement? I realize composers such as Beethoven, etc. are no longer around but many of his works are copyrighted by publishers.

    Karen C

    #109717
    AJ Franco
    Participant

    Barbara Brundage/Seaside Press has fantastic classical transcriptions for the lever harp!

    #109718
    helen-rudd
    Member

    I too have wondered about the copyright issue. Does anyone on the board have the legalese on this?
    Helen

    #109719
    Indra Prabowo
    Participant

    Hmm..never thought of that. I only know a composition become a public domain 50 years after the composer’s death. Thank you for the thought , Karen. There are so many lever harp transcription published commercially nowadays so I never thought of copyright held by the publisher.

    What a shame..I’ve done a transcription of a beautiful lullaby by Alexander Spendiarov and am now working on Faure’s Romance Sans Paroles. Hopefully someone will tell me how to handle the copyright issue..

    Bowie

    #109720

    One of the best and most approachable publishers for lever harp music is Afghan Press (the publishing arm of Melody’s).

    #109721
    Indra Prabowo
    Participant

    Thank you Jennifer.
    While I lurked on afghan press I noticed that you have made a Pachelbel’s transcription. Would you mind to share your experience handling the copyright issue? The cover art is beautiful, do you design it?

    Sorry I don’t get it. Do you mean that Faure’s compositions are public domain?

    Bowie

    #109722
    harp guy
    Participant

    OH!OH! I know all about this sort of thing! [Benefit of being a double major in Music Marketing where we learn all about copyright, performance rights etc.].

    Keep in mind, but this is all about American Copyright. The laws are slightly different in other countries, but they are still regulated by ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and the respective publishers that own the music copyrights.

    It is fine to make and perform arrangements of your own regardless of copyright as long as no one is making a profit. As soon as you start making a profit, you have to have gotten permission by the copyright owner to use the created arrangement. Even though it is an arrangment, it is still a version of their written material.

    Copyright ownership is currently: The life of the composer plus an addition 70 years. After that, it becomes public domain. And I believe that anything written prior to 1909 [ I think… basically anything prior to 1900 to be safe] is in the public domain as well. If those criteria are met, then the only portion that can be copyrighted of an arrangement of the music is the actual typesetting/written edition [font, specific formatting, etc.].

    If you are performing a piece at a gig, and you know for sure that the piece is currently copyrighted, then you should check with the venue about their licensing. If the venue doesn’t have proper licensing, they can be fined for the lost performance royalties to the composer. But, this is also dependant on the type of gig. Usually, this is only an issue if the venue is making money off of your performance [bars, restaurant, etc where the music attracts customers]. Weddings/receptions etc. are usually safe because it is a non-profit event.

    In a nutshell, copyright is normally an issue ONLY if money is being made at the venue/event. Performance royalties [from where the performer plays the piece at the gig] are generally covered by the venue’s licensing fees with BMI, ASCAP and SESAC.

    #109723
    harp guy
    Participant

    Sorry, here is more clarification to make it really simple.

    #109724
    Indra Prabowo
    Participant

    Get it. Thank you for your valuable input harp guy. One question is…how if some of the publishers are no longer exist? (for example Hammelle & Cie-Paris, Carrisch & Janischen-Milan, etc)

    Bowie

    #109725
    harp guy
    Participant

    Publishers don’t just collapse or cease to exist. If they go out of business they were either going bankrupt, or were bought out by a bigger publisher. Either way, someone purchased the company, and their assets have been absorbed. Your best bet would be to find out who bought the company when it went out of business. The corporation that purchased the now extict publishing company is now the owner of the material(s) in question. But, it is also possible that this new company has sold the material to another publisher as well. Or, the composer could have been made an offer by another company when his/her contract was up and

    #109726
    barbara-brundage
    Participant

    >Copyright ownership is currently: The life of the composer plus an addition 70 years. After that, it becomes public domain.

    Sorry, but this is kind of outdated information. It’s true if:

    Copyright was not maintained in the original country of publication

    OR

    the copyright holder has not moved to re-establish copyright in the US.

    Copyright laws in other countries are different.

    >Weddings/receptions etc. are usually safe because it is a non-profit event.

    It’s not the non-profit nature, but the *non-public* nature of these functions that makes this apply.

    #109727
    barbara-brundage
    Participant

    You know, Indra, I’m awfully curious as to how much money you think you can make this way. If your main interest is making money, then busk on a street corner or get a Sunday brunch if you can. Either would be more profitable.

    #109728
    barbara-brundage
    Participant

    Oops, I forgot to mention that the so-called Sonny Bono extension allows copyright holders to extend their copyrights for much longer than the traditional period, if they wish to.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.