Brown Music

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by ComputerBloke, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. ComputerBloke

    ComputerBloke Member

    In this day and age of mass storage, electronic retrieval and the ease in which pieces of music can be printed and transmitted, is there really any justification for any piece of music to be "deleted" i.e. unavailable?

    I can understand when pieces had to be printed and printed in batch to make it economical when demand was low, stocking pieces that wouldn't sell was unecessarily costly.
    But with it being so easy to scan and store these things, isn't it about time some of that old "brown music" was available to buy again instead of having to surrepticiously trawl around the local bands to see who has an old piece?

    What do others think?
  2. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    I'm sure this kind of thing could be done, assuming that you could get the cooperation of the copyright owners. Probably have to do some sort of royalty payment on each copy sold or distributed.

    Negotiating terms with the publishers would be the toughest part.
  3. ComputerBloke

    ComputerBloke Member

    I was really thinking in terms of the publishers getting their act together in this respect.

    Surely they don't still photocopy stuff when they are producing sets of music?

    With a decent laser printer and a big hard drive, automating the printing of a set of parts should require next to no effort at all and at minimal cost, I would have thought.

    I've got an old LaserJet 5si (a3 printer) at home which I use for printing sheets of music that I have done and it really is easy. Not only that, every copy is first generation, not a shonky tilted photocopy like you get from some suppliers.....
  4. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    The publisher would have to see an economic benefit in order to consider this type of thing. A single publisher may not get enough requests for their out-of-print items to justify buying hardware, paying someone to do the scans, etc. But a third-party organization specializing in this type of thing might get enough business to be viable.
    I'm assuming that by "brown music" you're talking about stuff that is no longer in print and was produced before the age of computer typesetting (which has only been available for music for about the last twenty years, and only widely used for the last fifteen).

    They probably aren't using standard office laser printers either. In a commercial setting, where you are printing perhaps thousands of pages per day, you have to use much more robust equipment, which is much more expensive. Depending on the size of the publisher, it may be more cost-effective to outsource the printing itself to avoid the capital cost of the equipment.

    For example, the company I work for (which is a large health-care company) has standard forms used by all of our facilities. We could send out an image to each facility and have them print as needed. We don't. We have a central print shop with high-speed printers and print the forms in batches, because this lowers the cost per page dramatically.
  5. ComputerBloke

    ComputerBloke Member

    I wonder if there is an opening for some enterprising person to do this?

    As you say, depends on whether publishers would be willing.
    Sound like a nice home job to me!!!

    Perhaps I'll get in touch with one of the bigger publishers and see if they would be interested in the idea ;)

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