Arranging Music For Brass Ensemble

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Passion, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. Passion

    Passion Pianissimo User

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    Jun 11, 2009
    Let me simplify this for you all, lol. My previous post was pretty much a bunch of rambling.



    But for my last highschool concert I'm arranging a song. I formed a brass sextet to perform that song for my last school concert, because we're allowed as long as we perform for our band director before so he can give us the okay. I love brass ensembles. It's a brass sextet cause I have a third trumpet.

    So I decided in college, as soon as I get there I'm gonna look for recruits to form my own brass ensemble, and ill arrange various songs for it. It will be a brass sextet, with accompanists when we need em. We'll give performances with themes in a gig like one with just war songs, or disney songs, or video game songs, or animation songs, or specific soundtrack songs, and of course classical music songs.

    Thing is, can I get arrested or sued for arranging other composers songs for a brass ensemble? It's just for fun, and I cant afford to pay large amounts of money for copyrights. Seriously, if it's more than $10 a song, I can't do it. Can I have a brass band and arrange music for free, or must I have to pay? I ALSO DONT INTEND TO CREATE A PROFIT FROM ARRANGING AND PERFORMING IN COLLEGE.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  2. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

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    I think you have two issues here, copyright of the music and performance rights, consult your federal laws. Permission to make arrangements of copyright music may be difficult to obtain from the holders, usually the publishers.

    However if you are not doing your arrangements or performances for profit and you do not have any assets, then proceedings against you may be deemed not worthwhile.

    In Australia both the amateur groups I play in pay an annual fee for performance rights and are supposed to play from original parts only.

    Schools and colleges may have other dispensations.

    Regards, Stuart.
     
  3. ccb_22

    ccb_22 Pianissimo User

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    This is the most concise bit of info I've been able to find - it's still a lot to take in though. I'd say just starting out, just use your best judgement. It's when you start making money (or someone else starts making money) from your efforts that you really need to be careful.

    Copyright Center
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The best thing to do is just to ask the publisher first. They will tell you everything that you need to know. Explain your situation. I ask when I want to photocopy excerpts and most of the time do not get turned down because I have bought enough originals to show that I am serious.

    Just following the law does not mean that you will not get challenged. Getting permission first is the only safe way.
     
  5. Passion

    Passion Pianissimo User

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    Sheesh. This is all complicated...

    I don't wanna make profit off it, I just wanna play the music in college and arrange music. And I'm sure if I called a publisher and told them my age, they'd immediately say no because I'm not 18. I don't even know who the publisher is or whatever because I figured out how to arrange the music by ear.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  6. govtmodel

    govtmodel Pianissimo User

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    Some good info is here- Copyrights (& Wrongs): Arranging, Adapting, Transcribing

    Important to note: Don’t risk infringement if permission is denied. Statutory damages range from $500 to $20,000 for each act of infringement, but can soar to $100,000 if the infringement was willful.
     
  7. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    I have arranged plenty of music and performed it. I don't sell any charts I don't own the rights to. I have never had a problem. Arrange to your hearts content.
     
  8. Passion

    Passion Pianissimo User

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    Jun 11, 2009
    Cool! :)
     
  9. govtmodel

    govtmodel Pianissimo User

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    From Music Publishers' Association | Copyright Resource Center | Frequently Asked Questions :

    "Do I need permission to make an arrangement or transcription?

    If an arrangement is made of a copyrighted work without the authorization of the copyright owner, the arrangement would be an unauthorized derivative work and therefore an infringement of the copyright and the exclusive right of the copyright owner. The first thing to do when you want to make an arrangement is check if the work is in the public domain or if it is protected by copyright. If the work is protected by copyright, you cannot make an arangement without the prior permission of the copyright owner."

    Copyright laws vary from country to country; what is legal in Canada may not be legal in the USA, and just because someone has not been caught doesn't make it OK.



    brekelefuw lives in Canada, I believe.
     
  10. Passion

    Passion Pianissimo User

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    Jun 11, 2009
    Ok. This makes more sense. Ill check about this copyright stuff.
     

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