Carolingian/Belle Qui--that's Arbeau. Didn't Arbeau provide the harmony
lines in his original? I'm still at work, so I can't check my copy of
Orcheosography (or apparently even spell it--LOL!).
Within the SCA, I think there are several arrangements of Belle Qui, all
with pretty much the same harmony. (Steve Hendrick's site also has a nice
one.) I suspect they all simply transcribed Arbeau into modern notation, but
I don't know for sure. But Playford, for example, only provided the melody
line, so those harmonies vary greatly from arranger to arranger.
I know hardly anything about music arrangement copyright. My gut tells me
that you're right--Geoffrey's descant would be protected under copyright. I
also know that Avatar/Al Cofrin considers his original transcription work to
be under copyright protection. I don't know that this applies to this
particular piece of music, but he did tell me, in general, that for a lot of
the pieces in his book, he went back to the original sources and transcribed
them into modern notation. And on others, he wrote a harmony where none
existed. That sort of thing.
In my opinion, it sounds like the bagpiper arrangements you describe--well,
I think they're cheaters. I don’t think it's right at all to tweak a few
notes here or there and then stick my own name on it. But if I started with
the historic melody line only, then did my own harmony--that's all mine.
If I only wanted to tweak it in a few spots, for use within my own group
only (and not sell it for profit), I'd leave the arranger's name on it and
make a footnote about where it was tweaked and by whom. 'Cause really all
you're doing is adding an embellishment or improvisation to the original.
But that's all just my personal opinion, for what it's worth. :)
And the three arrangements (Jenny, War, and Hole) are all from Avatar's
book. Seriously, put this book on your birthday wish list. ;)
And you should definitely meet him. Avatar's group, Istanpitta, will be
playing at the St. Louis Ren Faire (in Wentzville--a very easy drive from
Columbia). The Fair runs over four weekends in May/June. I don't remember
which weekend he'll be there; he typically plays only one weekend out of the
four. I'll post when I hear.
On 2/8/07 5:30 PM, "Christian M. Cepel" <christian@...> wrote:
> Hrm... how to explain. First let me preface this with a statement by
> saying that the reason I'm asking is because I'm doing transcriptions
> and such and I'd like a road map to negotiate these treacherous waters.
> Supposing that Al's arrangement is copyrighted, meaning by which, that
> he reserves the right to grant use to other people who might re-notate
> his arrangement. (i.e., as a starting place to then be modified) I.e.,
> the copyright is not on the page layout and font and how it looks, but
> on the musical content. Al has (I gather) not offered unlimited rights
> to his arrangement, and therefore using it in another notation, even
> with some original material would be forbidden. (in this case, 2 notes
> and a descant line)
> The Geoffrey arrangement of the Carolingian Pavane is note for note
> exactly the same except for one note in the 11th measure in the 2nd
> voice, and one note in the 12th measure. Just to be thorough, I should
> also note that the notation has been transposed down an octave (not in
> pitch, but in notation) so that a G clef might be used on the stave
> rather than a G clef sub 8va. Geoffrey's descant (which is wonderful
> btw) is added below that.
> As Geoffry has allowed a much greater use of his music than Al has, he
> has essentially released copyrighted material with restrictions as his
> own with fewer restrictions in violation of the restrictions of the
> source material. Without restrictions, there would be nothing to stop me
> or anybody else from copyrighted piece verbatim, changing a couple of
> notes and then releasing it as our own with no acknowledgment of the
> original arranger.... in a sense, even implying that the entire
> arrangement was done by me. This particular thing does come down to a
> matter of honesty I think, and the same standards used to define
> plagiarism should be used when deciding something like this if there
> were a grievance.
> I was using this example to ask the questions....
> 1. How much has to be changed before a piece of music can be considered
> a different arrangement with no credit given to the source
> 2. Can a rights restricted arrangement be used as a starting place for a
> new arrangement if X% is going to be changed, and then the new
> arrangement be copyrightable with it's own rights assignments?
> I wonder... We do this all the time with bagpipe settings for the
> BCFDP&D, and it's always bothered me. We'll change a note we don't like
> or a doubling or grip, and then stick a new 'arrangement' credit on it.
> I also wonder because there are three pieces I mentioned earlier in the
> CB23 packet that look stylistically engraved in an identical manner to
> Al Cofrin's, which leads me to wonder if they are actually original
> arrangements or what we call in the bagpipe band "white-out" or "cut and
> paste" arrangements, or if Al released his computer source files to
> others to edit, or perhaps a template (which would be a clever idea).
> Just curious. They are Jenny Pluck Pears, War (Guerre) Bransle, and Hole
> in the Wall (I don't care what you say people!!! I love it :) )
> I guess I can hope to one day meet Mr Cofrin. I'm glad that there isn't
> bad blood as I had begun to suspect.
> "Merry" Turlough Merriwether Lutre
> Carol O'Connell wrote:
>> Hi! Here I am!
>> Fernando e-mailed me for info for the Bards¹ list (I¹m not on that list).
>> Anyway, hope the info is useful.
>> The other pieces you asked about are also from Al¹s book (Early Dances). And
>> thanks for taking off the website right away! The Cofrin books really are
>> terrific. I use those books more than any others?and by a long shot. I
>> highly recommend them.
>> I¹m not sure what the question is. Geoffrey has two nice arrangements (Ly
>> Bens and Contrapasso) that we use a lot. He¹s from Dragonscale Consort, in
>> the Middle. He¹s a very nice fellow, and I¹m sure he¹d give you permission
>> to use his pieces if you asked him, but I don¹t think he gives a full-use
>> permission on his music, either.
>> Anyway, I think I missed something. What¹s the question?
>> On 2/8/07 11:42 AM, "Christian M. Cepel" <christian@...> wrote:
>>> Thank you. Very complete answer. So I'm partially right and partially
>>> wrong. It also means that I need to get CrystalBall23 pdf off the
>>> stone's music site asap. Ok. Done. Sorry to Conna and Al.