New Music Publishing-HELP!

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    Ian McVoy on #149551


    catherine-rogers on #149552

    You may want to do a little more research into this, but I would be cautious in trying to publish the “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2” from the Marx Bros. movie “A Night in Casablanca.”

    One problem is publishing any of Harpo’s arrangements, as I think his son Bill Marx is very protective of that intellectual property. The only harpist who has permission to reproduce Harpo’s music is Carrol McLaughlin, as far as I know. She and Bill Marx have worked very closely on this and have presented concerts and at least one recording that reproduce Harpo’s music as he played it.

    Another, more sensitive, issue, is that it is not Harpo’s arrangement at all. It is Robert Maxwell’s arrangement and Robert Maxwell’s playing that is heard in that particular movie.

    In an interview in the American Harp Society’s Journal (Vol. 18, No. 4, Winter 2002, p. 15-16), Robert Maxwell stated that Harpo told him that he (Harpo) wanted to play the piece for this movie but, being unable to read music and having to learn everything by rote, he was unable to prepare it in the time needed. So Maxwell went to the studio at Harpo’s request and played the piece and that is what is heard on the soundtrack. Of course he is not credited in the film. You can hear this piece on Robert Maxwell’s Columbia LP “Harpist’s Holiday.”

    Harpo was a great musician and I believe he did perform the pieces you hear in the other movies, to the best of my knowledge. I apologize if any of what I have written here is incorrect and defer to those who have better information.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #149553

    I don’t know of any publishers interested in publishing harp music in the U.S., unless it is by a composer they have on contract or something of a celebrity, perhaps. The market is too small for them. There are smaller publishers such as FatRockInk that are doing a wonderful job of filling that gap.

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