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Arrangements, tweaks and mash-ups
The ethics and responsibilities of using others' work
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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Peter
West Sussex, England UK
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April 27, 2020 - 7:30 am
Member Since: September 27, 2019
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I'm a beginner at this, and I want to get much better.

I use classic pieces in my repertoire and practice, and oftentimes I wish to change the music to suit my ability and / or taste. What are my responsibilities and obligations toward the original composer and any subsequent arranger?

I have a clear idea about copyright (most of my musical interests are now public domain), but what about accreditation, and what is considered 'good form' when adapting a piece?

I sense a general style when attribution is given at the head of the piece, but often the most recent 'editor' has not applied their own name to the changes. What gives here?

Your thoughts, opinions and referenced information are much appreciated.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
April 27, 2020 - 12:03 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
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I don't know "what is normally expected" - but - certainly for my part - I often take pieces from various sources (again, of course being attentive to any copyright issues) - and I invariably give accreditation to the source I obtained it from.  That is only fair.   Very often, that can be something as simple as "Found on http://www.thesession.org" with an actual link to the item - or if it is more specific, naturally I'll credit the original composer (even if long passed-on, or even if out-of-copyright).   

I believe there is a "fair way" to work with copyrighted stuff - and I have approached some copyright owners (or their representatives) in the past - and generally there has been no problem at all.    I always explain (a) that my use of the piece is non-commercial, (b) it will (if I publish it on YouTube etc) be in the "Educational" category as distinct from the YT "Music" category (which, I already know attracts largely baseless and completely crass and stupid copyright claims by so-called AI algorithms) (c) promise to honour by accreditation the original composer or work.

If I "publish" something related to the piece other than a performance (indeed, such as the score I posted earlier today for Kelvin Grove) I will always add my own name - not for purposes of kudos or anything - simply so the score, once it is out-in-the-wild in the public domain, is traceable to some extent.

I understand your desire to be as honourable and fair as possible in these matters, and that is a Good Thing!  hats_off

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Peter
West Sussex, England UK
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April 28, 2020 - 9:33 am
Member Since: September 27, 2019
Forum Posts: 319
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Thanks, Bill; I guess I'm overthinking the issue.

There are so many levels on integrity in the music publishing / reuse / dispersal sphere in our age that it is difficult to cage one's moral compass in the face of of it all.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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