May 17, 2009 at 3:34 am #109714
I’m thinking for making classical music transcription for lever harp, but I’m afraid many lever harpist have their own arrangement.May 17, 2009 at 1:25 pm #109715Briggsie B. PeawiggleParticipant
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.
BriggsMay 17, 2009 at 1:53 pm #109716karen-conoanParticipant
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 CMay 17, 2009 at 2:36 pm #109717AJ FrancoParticipant
Barbara Brundage/Seaside Press has fantastic classical transcriptions for the lever harp!May 17, 2009 at 2:56 pm #109718helen-ruddMember
I too have wondered about the copyright issue. Does anyone on the board have the legalese on this?
HelenMay 17, 2009 at 3:02 pm #109719
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..
BowieMay 17, 2009 at 3:13 pm #109720jennifer-buehlerMember
One of the best and most approachable publishers for lever harp music is Afghan Press (the publishing arm of Melody’s).May 17, 2009 at 3:34 pm #109721
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?
BowieMay 17, 2009 at 3:36 pm #109722
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.May 17, 2009 at 3:45 pm #109723
Sorry, here is more clarification to make it really simple.May 17, 2009 at 3:59 pm #109724
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)
BowieMay 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm #109725
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 andMay 17, 2009 at 4:27 pm #109726
>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
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.May 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm #109727
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.May 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm #109728
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.
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