Any more music?

Interested in writing music for the Liturgy?
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Nick Baty
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Any more music?

Post by Nick Baty » Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:27 pm

It seems a long time since we had any new music for download?
I know there were a few technical (or was it copyright?) problems at one time.
There is so much new music being produced it would be good to see some of it.

Dot
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Re: Any more music?

Post by Dot » Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:19 am

This thread does
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Not my baby any more - phew 8)

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Nick Baty
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Re: Any more music?

Post by Nick Baty » Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:04 am

Thanks for those, Dot.

dmu3tem
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Re: Any more music?

Post by dmu3tem » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:58 am

Dear all,

Yes, I am concerned at the difficulty of making new music more widely available. I have several (perhaps inconsistent) reactions to this.

First, yes, copyright is a major bugbear. The problem lies not simply in the copyright for the music, it resides in copyright for the texts (including translations), plus copyright attached to artwork. For an organisation like the SSG to publish in the face of these obstacles I have found you need a complex and cumbersome bureaucratic process to protect the body from lawsuits, the essence being that composers who offer works have to sign legal documents acknowledging their sole responsibility for any copyright issues that might arise. This drives every church composer in the direction of writing their own lyrics (or using those of a trustworthy personal friend), the consequence being that fixed liturgical texts get less attention at publishing level. The situation is further compounded by the effects of 'Liturgiam Authenticam', with the rigid emphasis (some of its interpreters) put on following exactly every jot and tittle of the text. Alternatively it ought to encourage purely instrumental incidental music, although I am surprised by the fact that not much of this appears to be going on within the English Catholic church (perhaps I am not looking in the right places!). Finally, there are the dire effects of the notion that copyright prevents music being adapted to suit particular circumstances and combinations of instruments. The danger of not doing this, of course, is that the music could be 'corrupted' beyond recognition to the extent that the original composer would be ashamed to see it in its final form. The present situation though seems to go too far the other way, and actively prevents music getting better known. There surely ought to be some sort of procedure whereby any 'rearrangement' of this sort is duly marked up and acknowledged on the score so that the original composer does not get the blame (or praise) for the subsequent results.

Throughout the key aspect with copyright is the inflexibility it imposes. If you write new musical settings every week for use the following sunday or a week or so after that, there simply is not time to fiddle about contact organisations for copyright permissions.

Second: Nevertheless lots of music is being written locally; and I understand (someone correct me if I am wrong) that if your parish holds a Calamus licence a locally composed setting of a text from the liturgy can be used there.

Third: We see some of this music at SSG composers group meetings. So, please feel free to come along to them (even if you do not think you are a composer or have not got anything ready). I certainly have used in my parish some music that I have picked up at these meetings. The next meeting (by the way) is provisionally booked for Portsmouth Catholic Cathedral on Oct 24th.

Fourth: Details of what was offered at SSG composers group meetings are given in the report I compile immediately afterwards, which is published in Music and Liturgy. There seems to have been a mishap here with the latest issue; but I think in the autumn issue reports of the Sheffield and Leicester (Watermead) meetings should appear.

Fifth: I keep copies of music offered at these meetings; and after I have finished cataloguing the CMA collection of music at the Talbot LIbrary in Preston, I will start to produce a similar (electronic, this time) listing of the new stuff that I am gathering there. In the meantime, if you want anything contact me direct and I can either put you on to the composer in question or (with their permission) arrange to post a copy to you (Note, this might prove expensive for me personally, so please do not be surprised if I ask for a refund of postage if I cannot use a PDF file). People are welcome to use any stuff I have written - it needs nice homes where it can get an airing. I have composed lots of Psalm, Communion Antiphon and Mass settings, to say nothing of many miscellaneous song settings and purely instrumental/organ stuff suitable for use as voluntaries.

I hope this helps,

Thomas Muir
T.E.Muir

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Nick Baty
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Re: Any more music?

Post by Nick Baty » Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:45 pm

Of course people can share music via the Sibelius/Scorch website although, as has been discussed on here before, not everyone appears able to access it.

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