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Re: copyright question

From: Mats Bengtsson
Subject: Re: copyright question
Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2001 17:03:15 +0100

An "Urtext" could mean several things, we've had several
related discussions on this list during the years. You should 
be able to find them in the searchable archive,

I can't say anything for certain about the legal situation, 
just want to point out that the amount of work behind a good
Urtext edition often could be larger than for a non-scholarly
edition, especially if there are several sources of the piece
(handwritten manuscript(s) and early copies, first editions, ...).

Even if you exclude the explicit editorial remarks, I guess
you could still run into copyright problems. What happens
for example if you copy a misprint, is that copyrighted?
Also, in the case of several contradictory sources, the 
editor has decided which version to print as the main
alternative and which to print within parentheses.

For the music I've published or plan to publish, I've been
lucky enough to have access to facsimiles of original
manuscripts or first editions that should be old enough
to avoid any copyright problems.


> I'm currently inputting an organ work with the intention of submitting
> it to Mutopia, but I'm unsure if it would be legal to do so, mostly
> because I don't speak German.
> The score is labelled "Urtext," so it seemed that it would be ok, but
> then I noticed that in the front of the score, it says
> "Nach den quellen neu herausgegeben von Fritz Stein unt Martin Geck"
> On the first page of the piece itself, it says "Herausgegeben von Fritz
> Stein."
> All of the sudden I have this sinking feeling that these notes are
> indicating the name of the editors. But then why would it be labelled
> Urtext?
> There are a few indications throughout (a trill here, a tempo marking
> there) which are in parentheses, and some which are not. Perhaps the
> ones in parentheses are the editor's marks?
> It says in the introduction "The present critical edition of the organ
> compositions is strictly based on the originals. All interpretation
> marks that cannot be traced back to the originals have been omitted, as
> all experience shows that subjective interpretations are liable to
> perpetual variation. Certain ornaments, echoes, and indications of
> tempo, self-evident in the music of that period and resulting naturally
> from the context have been added in brackets by the editor.
> What do you all think? If I leave the stuff in parentheses out, should
> it be OK?
> Joshua
> -- 
> Joshua Haberman <address@hidden>,  University of Puget Sound
> "Delaying decisions" is too often a euphemism for "avoiding thinking."
>                                             -Bjarne Stroustrup
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> Gnu-music-discuss mailing list
> address@hidden

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