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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000263.txt from 2000/07

Subj: Re: [kl] Re: Original scores for festival judges.
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2000 11:24:02 -0400

At 03:09 PM 07/06/2000 -0000, you wrote:
>In other words, if you decide to re-do a piece of PD music and make the
score beautiful, great typeface, easy to read, perfect pages turns, etc.
you can't copyright it in the US. That would be an implicit extension of a
copyright which had reverted to public domain. Publishers would have you
believe that an old work is under copyright when in fact the cover pages
and possibly some editors notes are the only thing that would stand up to
the copyright test.

It's an interesting discussion. I had three Mendelssohn marches originally
for small wind band published by Ballerbach Music Inc. last fall. The
"edition" had changes in it however - such as transposition of Eb horns to
F horns. How do you interpret these changes within the description of
copyright law you have been provided?

On a much broader scale, my edition of the Crusell Adagio and Polonaise for
Kenthorn (keyed bugle) and Obligato (band) that is being published by
Ballerbach Music this fall, and more extensive changes have been made -
such as transposition of Flute in B to C, F Clarinets to Eb Clarinets, C
Clarinets to Bb, etc. The Serpent part was changed to a Euphonium part
with some alterations, and a tuba part was "composed" as an added bass line
to augment the serpent/euphonium part. Trombone parts were changed from
Alto, Tenor and Bass to standard bass clef notation for modern instruments.
How do you view these changes with regard to your interpretation of the
copyright laws you have discussed?

Roger Garrett

Roger Garrett
Professor of Clarinet
Director, Symphonic Winds
Advisor, IWU Recording Services
Illinois Wesleyan University
School of Music
Bloomington, IL 61702-2900
(309) 556-3268

A Clarinetist's Revenge is sometimes personified by the following excerpt
from the London Daily News, circa 1926:

"The saxophone is a long metal instrument bent at both ends. It is alleged
to be musical. As regards markings, the creature has a series of tiny taps
stuck upon it, apparently at random. These taps are very sensitive: when
touched they cause the instrument to utter miserable sounds suggesting
untold agony. Sometimes it bursts into tears. At either end there is a
hole. People, sometimes for no reason at all, blow down the small end of
the saxophone which then shrieks and moans."

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