Busking - playing for tips on the street

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Alex_C, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Comebackkid: Over and over I've stated the purchase of sheet music or CD does not include the copyright license to play them in public. Copying either, even for private use is also illegal. If you are caught doing so, suffer the consequences. Just don't say I haven't warned you.

    Certainly bands that perform at community sponsored events are cognizant of the applicable law. Here on Memorial Day, it was a high school band as is part of the county educational requirement for instrumental music and thus excluded from copyright law. Saturday was the county Farmer's Festival and music was provided by a commercial vendor and the recordings that were played and groups that played and sang many copyrighted songs.

    I know this music vendor well, and he'd be happy to display the copyright licenses in his program notebook to any who asked to inspect it. Certainly, he's not going to risk his business license and all the very expensive audio and staging equipment by violating the law ... not with 3 Judges, 4 lawyers, and perhaps as many as 25 law enforcement officers (that I saw, there may have been fewer on site with shift changes) roaming the Festival. This vendor has made some of my CDs!
     
  2. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

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    I like, no, love, the idea of playing only public domain stuff. that means the public-domain stuff gets the "ears" and the copyrighted stuff doesn't.
     
  3. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    Ed, :troll:.
     
  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Understood. Agreed. Thanks.
     
  5. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Well, there you have it in a nutshell. Just look at all the dander the very question of "busking" raises (e.g. "Don't feed the trolls") and etc. ..... Not the most civilized of attitudes towards an innocent question of whether or not to give "busking" a try.

    That's among the various things facing the potential street musician .... Very, and often, VERY strong attitudes towards people playing on the street.

    Along with copyright uncertainties, as well as potential safety issues and the fact that, most of the time, it's not much money, makes you wonder if it's worth it.
     
  6. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

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    Turtlejimmy, thanks to Ed The Trumpet Cop, this thread has turned out a lot more dark and foreboding than most on busking. There are other busking threads out there on the net, and most are a lot more cheerful.

    Types like Ed will sound like they're Hoss and the rest of the Rawhide gang online, but trust me, in the real world, few really have the guts to mess with someone and the very few who do, are very easily sent running. And unless you're just a total jerk (like NO ONE here lol) the cops tend to be very cool.

    And it's not even a "whether or not to busk" thread, it was "tell us your experiences busking" thread. Tons of well known musicians got their start busking, it's just not a problem.
     
  7. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Alex,

    You might want to show a little more respect towards Ed. C'mon, he's a fellow trumpet player .... He's one of us. His contribution to this thread has been really strong. I know that before getting into this, I never really thought about copyright laws (I haven't recorded, so it never came up there). But now .... I'm a better informed player. And the whole tone of this discussion is probably very much like busking itself; unpredictable and uncertain. It's not like you're playing in a club where everyone is there because they want to hear the music.

    And don't forget. When you're dealing with the PUBLIC out on the street, bear in mind that some people don't even like music. Hard to imagine but Leonard Cohen pointed that out in his song, "Hallelujah." (...where he sings, "But you don't really care for music, do ya?") If you sing this song on the street in Canada, you're likely to get people stopping and joining you on the choruses.

    Turtle
     
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    I'll deny that I am, or ever was, a "Trumpet Cop", and the fact is, that I am not where you are and don't know or want to know where you are, so your implication is not from a rational perspective. IME, the usual is that local law enforcement is as you say "cool" and mostly will tell you just to move along. Why they do so, really doesn't matter, even though they may or may not be enforcing some law or local ordinance. Sometimes it is just that local ordinances mandate that sidewalks shall be maintained in a manner that does not obstruct the free flow of pedestrial traffic. Otherwise, it may be that your playing annoys nearby business establishments and they have received a complaint.
    What I've stated is only my input in attempt to keep you out of trouble and offer my own experience in profitable "busking". Now I would enjoy nothing more than to put together a small brass group to play Christmas carols for the charity of the Salvation Army kettle drive ... not for self profit. The sad part of this, from my soul thoughts, is that fewer businesses today will even allow a bell ringer / kettle set-up in front of their businesses, and likewise would not want a "busker"'s presence. This, some will think of this as the law supports the rich at the expense of the poor, but you neglect that it is the business tax base that is the major contributor that supports public programs for the distressed and impoverished.

    I don't diss this very small town where I now live for being no place that would encourage or be profitable for a "busker" ... there are more places just like this as to music in our nation than there are major cities that support music ... and "busking".
    I don't believe there are any accurate statistics that support the statement that
    any presently recognized professionals, past or present, began their careers "busking", but that is not to say that there aren't or weren't any, for I too have known or read of such in their biographies. Just as an example, I would not even ask or really care if such "greats", that I perceive as such, did or did not. If I like their music, or your music, I'll listen and pay, and if not, I'll walk away (or try to, as now due to health issues, I now don't even walk well, and that said, I'm no longer in a direct personal law enforcement mode, albeit I respect and abide by such myself). In closing, a final thought, play music wherever and whenever you can ... and I really hope you do not encounter any trouble in doing so.
     
  9. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    alex,

    Ed is a musician, and he loves music. Maybe he offers a piece of reality, but (and he needs no defense from me) bad-mouthing him gains you nothing as this thread continues.

    But, just to get your ducks lined up properly, Hoss was of the Bonanza gang (family), and had no connection with Rawhide (other than the obvious one of being of the same genre).

    asher
     
  10. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Ahh, Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" in D Major is a favorite of mine, which I've recorded on my "Christmas Collection". Well, too, because my wife is sensitive to high notes, on that same CD, I've reprised it in Eb Major as is lowers it some. Note: ALL 26 songs on this CD are Public Domain, and of Christian context! Likewise, and separately I've my own arrangement of Rev. Pierpont's "Jingle Bells" in which I simulate the harness bells with only horns, still presented in the Public Domain.

    Yes, I've had limited issue copyright mechanical license for Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" and exhausted my supply of that issue, selling some and gifting others to family and friends. I've still some left of another of his as is now banned in U.S. public schools by Judgement of the U.S. Supreme Court, IMO a travesty of law. Any know what that song is? For sure, many of you have heard it, and I'd be pleased that many of you have played it your self.
     

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