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Censorship Media Music

Provider of Free Public Domain Music Re-Opens 142

Posted by kdawson
from the music-wants-to-be-free dept.
Chip Zoller writes "This community took note when the International Music Score Library Project shut down last October, and when Project Gutenberg stepped in to help three days later. I would like to alert you all that our site, IMSLP, has re-opened to the public for good after a 10-month hiatus. All the news updates in the interim can be found linked to the main page. We take great pride in re-opening as it demonstrates our willpower to make the masterpieces of history free to the world; and moreover to make manifest that we will not be bullied by publishers sporting outrageous claims of copyright in a country where they clearly are expired."
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Provider of Free Public Domain Music Re-Opens

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  • Re:I have to say it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Alarindris (1253418) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @05:18AM (#24013271)
    This is sheet music, not actual music files.

    I don't think anyone can really claim to own Bach's Brandenburg Concertos written almost 300 years ago.

    The recordings of his concertos, on the other hand, are a different story.
  • Re:So (Score:5, Informative)

    by arose (644256) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @05:50AM (#24013371)
    http://musopen.com/ [musopen.com]
  • Mutopia (Score:3, Informative)

    by ageforce_ (719072) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @06:14AM (#24013503)
    Can somebody explain the difference between IMSLP and Mutopia ( http://www.mutopiaproject.org/ [mutopiaproject.org] )?
  • Re:I have to say it (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @06:34AM (#24013591)

    What's funny is much of the sheet music I've aquired over the years has copyrights on it, even though much of it was written well over 200-300 years ago. I have piece by Vivaldi that actually says "Do not copy." I'm not sure how they can get away with such things...

    They probably do have some sort of valid copyright on *their layout and presentation* of the music, so directly photocopying could be illegal; you're free to transcribe the notes yourself and then put the result into the public domain or whatever.

  • Re:PRS (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @06:55AM (#24013657)

    They are notifying you because your house previously had a premises license. However as it's now domestic (I presume) then simply notifying them that it no longer has a premises license and that it is a domestic dwelling should be enough.

    For private accomodation, the PRS can't do anything against you - it's only if it can be heard by the public, then thats when you need to pay them.

  • Re:I have to say it (Score:5, Informative)

    by jimicus (737525) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @06:57AM (#24013665)

    What's funny is much of the sheet music I've aquired over the years has copyrights on it, even though much of it was written well over 200-300 years ago. I have piece by Vivaldi that actually says "Do not copy." I'm not sure how they can get away with such things or think anyone will take it serious, but apparently publishers try anyways.

    IIRC, while the sequence of notes is out of copyright the design and layout of the page on which they're printed isn't. So technically the publisher could well be in the right. IANAL, though.

  • by oboeaaron (595536) <<moc.cam> <ta> <mwao>> on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:12AM (#24013731)

    But what they do is get an "expert" to reinterpret the score every few years.

    There are actually very good musical reasons to do this. Music written or printed 300 years ago looks much different than that published today, and often requires an editor's help to bring it into a form usable by modern performers. To give one example, many instrumental sonatas and other works were written out in "figured bass" notation, which gave the keyboard player only the bass line and numeric symbols representing the harmonies. It was up to the player to improvise the right-hand part. Since very few keyboard players these days can do this, editors of modern editions of Baroque music usually provide a written-out interpretation of the chords, which looks just like normal, modern keyboard music. There are also many notational conventions that have either died out completely, or changed their meaning, which need an expert editor to "translate" them for modern players. In addition, many scores of the time were not published, but circulated in handwritten copies, which often contain many mistakes. Modern editors have to sift through the various copies and make judgments as to which versions are correct. Bach's Well-tempered Clavier is a famous example.

    On the other hand, if you want or need to study the scores as they were written, you want to get an "Urtext" edition, which preserves the original notation as much as possible. Collected editions are presented this way. In the case of the music of J.S. Bach, there are two collected editions, one completed in the 19th century, and the other in the latter half of the 20th. The 19th century edition (Bach-Gesellschaft edition) is now in the public domain and may be copied freely - in fact the Dover editions of Bach are simply reproductions of this edition. The 20th century edition (Neue Bach Ausgabe) is still very much under copyright.

  • Re:PRS (Score:2, Informative)

    by Coopa (773302) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:36AM (#24013847)
    I believe there was a change in licencing laws a few years ago to do with perfomancing and playing music on licenced premises.
    It's not the music you're playing, it's the fact you're playing music makes the the premise an 'entertainments venue' and a different licence is required.
    I remember my local pub wanted to play live music but the planning application and licence application takes into account the local residential area and the entertainments licence was refused.

    I am not a licencing lawyer though...
  • Re:Mutopia (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @08:05AM (#24014019)
    As far as I can see, the main differences are that (1) IMSLP has a much better selection, and (2) its files are PDFs containing scanned images, rather than say Lilypond/Finale/Sibelius/midi files, and are therefore about 500 times the size.
  • Source for the PDF's (Score:2, Informative)

    by laymusic (140088) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @08:16AM (#24014101) Homepage
    I think it's unfortunate that they are only allowing .mus (Finale) and .sib (Sibelius) as source formats.

    It would be more in the spirit of a project like this if they allowed open formats like lilypond [lilypond.org] and ABC [redhawk.org]

  • Re:I have to say it (Score:4, Informative)

    by cfc-12 (1195347) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @08:54AM (#24014369)
    There already is one: http://www.multimedialibrary.com/barlow/solfeggio.asp [multimedialibrary.com]. It's based on the excellent book version by Barlow and Morgenstern, which has helped me out in many a "na na na" moment.
  • Re:Mutopia (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jeremy Visser (1205626) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @09:53AM (#24015085) Homepage

    Correct.

    Mutopia's music is exclusively in LilyPond format, which basically means that not only can you print out the music, you can convert it to midi, transpose it to a different key (if you played a different instrument with a different range, for example) with not much difficulty, and even jam it up a bit.

    IMSLP's music is not necessarily in LilyPond format, so if you wanted to edit it, you'd have to re-input it into a music notation program manually first. (Or possibly OCR it, but that would be pretty shoddy.)

  • Re:I have to say it (Score:3, Informative)

    by Solandri (704621) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @02:27PM (#24019505)

    IIRC, while the sequence of notes is out of copyright the design and layout of the page on which they're printed isn't. So technically the publisher could well be in the right. IANAL, though.

    So if you read the sheet music, and transcribed the notes into music publishing software like Lilypond [lilypond.org], the copyright wouldn't apply anymore, right?

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