Is it too much to ask for? 'New Music'??

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by KernowSop, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. KernowSop

    KernowSop Member

    There are loads of decent tunes around, from todays music to music 20 years ago, that would sound great done by a brass band. Why is it that music choices are so outdated?

    I enjoy some of the older pieces and I like a decent march, but cant we mix it up a bit?

    I know Nicholas Childs did Fire by Kasabian for Dinnington, but that seems to be the only one out there? Or am I wrong?

    Anyones thoughts, or am I on my own?:)
  2. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    There's such a thing as copyright law, so permission must be granted by owners to wood-be arrangers of "new music". However, I'd have thought there's plenty of "new" tunes that have been made available legitimately to brass bands in the last 20 years or so.

    As to mixing it up a bit, brass bands have been doing that for ever -- uncomfortably so sometimes.:rolleyes:
  3. boagy

    boagy Member

    Nail.... Head.... re: copyright!! especially if you are not a 'Name' arranger (a publisher will often not want to bother with your arrangement and the red tape in tying to get the said permission often out ways the potential return on sales). Perhaps it is up to MD's to actively look for 'New' music to play (that is already out there) if they don't then that is a failing on their part. End of rant.

    cheers now
  4. simonium

    simonium Member

    Or, merely call yourself Paul Lovatt Cooper and you'll get anything published, irrespective of how generic, repetitive or imitative it is! ;)
  5. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    The earlier posts are right about copyright as far as most publishers are concerned. It is sometimes prohibitively expensive for them to put out works because of how far the copyright fees eat into the profit they make - or how expensive this makes the score...

    ...however that's not the end of the story.

    If you are an arranger yourself, or have one in the ranks of your band, copyright permission for non-commercial purposes is not that difficult to come by. Several of the arrangements I did in my time at yorkshire co-op band required copyright permission, and for two copies (one for me, one for the band) I don't think I ever paid more than £30. A recent comission of an arrangement of "Stars" from les miserables for Rob Westacott cost about the same to secure legal permission.

    Usually it works like this.
    1) Have idea for an arrangement.
    2) Write to the copyright administrator/holder and ask for permission to arrange explaining the non-commercial nature of the work.
    3) They respond either yes or no
    4) If yes, do the arrangement
    5) They look it over
    6) They either approve or deny it
    7) They invoice for the cost
    8) Put copyright acknowledgement on the score and parts.

    All now nice and legal. The hardest bit is often persuading the MD it's a good idea!!

    Music Sales own a vast amount of the sheet music copyright for the uk, particularly large numbers of the piano/vocal books of popular/recent songs that you can buy from music retailers. And their copyright licensing department are noramlly pretty helpful.

    What I'm saying is, don't let the commercial difficulties that publishers necessarily encounter get in the way if you really want to play an arrangement of something. It doesn't take a lot of effort to make an arrangement legal, so if you like the piece enough and are sure it would work, don't necessarily be put off by the prospect of copyright.

    And once it's legal, you can play it out... and who knows who might be listening....
  6. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Oddly enough, when I've obtained licences in the past for "one-off" arrangements, I've never been asked to submit them for approval. Other peoples' experiences are obviously different, and I have to say I've always been a bit surprised that copyright holders are willing to licence an arrangement without any form of "quailty control" ...
  7. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Member

  8. Speaking from a publisher's point of view, yes - there are some publishers that most likely shall not publish an 'unknown' arrangers work (unless you have contacts).

    However, there are lots of fantastic companies around that welcome new arrangers, several are on tMP - MMI Music, Big Shiny Brass, PDF Brass, Thornes Music (apologies if we've missed anyone!) and of course - us!

    We literally spend our working day on the phone and emails flying to and forth between our good contacts at Universal, Music Sales, Warner/Chappell, Faber etc trying to obtain copyright licences that allow us to print, sell & distribute the music we provide.

    It is also true that these licences can be expensive (depending on the work in question). We get several medleys a week sent to us and sadly, often we are unable to publish them, either due to the expense (as each piece involved in the medley must be licensed individually, pushing up costs!) or because one or two of the pieces involved in the medley we cannot gain a licence for.

    Everytime we purchase a licence for an arrangement we have been sent, we are taking a gamble that the sales will outweigh the licensing costs. Its our job to ensure they do and sometimes, yes, we have had to decline publishing an arrangement due to the licensing costs being so high that we didn't feel the arrangement would appeal to enough bands in order to be profitable.

    However, the decision to go ahead with purchasing the licences is based solely on the quality of the arrangement and the popularity of the music in question - NEVER on whether the arranger is a famous one. A quick scan through our catalogue will confirm there are no 'Goff Richards, Phillip Sparke, Andrew Duncan etc' works in there. There are however, fantastic arrangements by talented musicians from around the country - none of whom I’m sure would claim they are 'top name' arranger/composers.

    Now - back to the topic of 'New Music' - we have arrangements of AND obtained licences for...

    Haven't Met You Yet (As performed by Michael Buble - released now)
    Love Story (As performed by Taylor Swift - coming soon)
    Rule The World (From the film 'Stardust' Performed by Take That - coming soon)

    So to sum up a very long post (apologies)...

    1. Arrangements of new music are out there (or on the way!)
    2. Budding arrangers/composers should never be scared to submit their works! If they're unsuccessful, we'll always tell you why!
  9. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    Have to say that's not my experience at all :(

    Normally they don't reply, if they do it's to say no. I even had one occasion when I had spoken to the composer got their permission/backing only for Music Sales to decline it - crazy.

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