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Thread: Crediting a composition which uses another composition

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    Default Crediting a composition which uses another composition

    How should a composer be credited if someone took their composition, rearranged it, and then added other instruments to it?

    As a general example (because I can't find the score online), something like the Toys' Lovers' Concerto, which uses the melody of Petzold's Minuet in G. Perhaps something more directly borrowing the piano line, but with added melody and harmonies that do not amount to a mere transcription/simple arrangement.
    Last edited by AeolianStrains; May-27-2020 at 21:38.

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    If the music is copyrighted, no matter what you want to do to it, you must get permission from the owner of the copyright.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Sorry, I mean how on a score should credit be indicated? All this presuming well out-of-copyright works like the example in OP.

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    A public domain piece is yours to do with whatever you want. You are under no legal reason to give credit to the long-dead composer unless you want to. Just be sure you are not working off a copyrighted publication of the piece.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    It's considered good form to credit the composer even if the work is in the Public Domain.

    Beethoven's works are in the PD. If you choose to rearrange and add instruments to one of his piano sonatas, people would start calling you a fraud if you failed to mention him. They would interpret it as you trying to take credit for his original work.

    Of course, Beethoven is well known, as is his catalog of music.

    If you choose to not give credit for a more obscure composer, or a more obscure work, rest assured that eventually someone will make the connection and call you out on it publicly for plagiarism.

    That said, I'd say credit the original composer, with an arrangement credit for yourself:

    Dancing on the edge of the Razor Blade
    Based on Piano Sonata No.3 In B Minor, Op.58 - 1. Allegro maestoso, by Frederick Chopin
    Arranged by Dick Copyman

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    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    It's considered good form to credit the composer even if the work is in the Public Domain.

    Beethoven's works are in the PD. If you choose to rearrange and add instruments to one of his piano sonatas, people would start calling you a fraud if you failed to mention him. They would interpret it as you trying to take credit for his original work.

    Of course, Beethoven is well known, as is his catalog of music.

    If you choose to not give credit for a more obscure composer, or a more obscure work, rest assured that eventually someone will make the connection and call you out on it publicly for plagiarism.

    That said, I'd say credit the original composer, with an arrangement credit for yourself:

    Dancing on the edge of the Razor Blade
    Based on Piano Sonata No.3 In B Minor, Op.58 - 1. Allegro maestoso, by Frederick Chopin
    Arranged by Dick Copyman
    Thank you, this is what I was looking for. All of that on the top right hand side, correct? Is it still called an arrangement if one uses e.g. only the left hand of moonlight sonata? Is there other appropriate terminology?

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    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AeolianStrains View Post
    Thank you, this is what I was looking for. All of that on the top right hand side, correct? Is it still called an arrangement if one uses e.g. only the left hand of moonlight sonata? Is there other appropriate terminology?
    Now you're talking about a "partner" piece . . . that is, a piece that uses part of an existing piece while a new piece plays simultaneously.

    I see a lot of this in my middle school choir, as the choir teacher uses these for the beginning choirs as a entry into harmony. Usually the new piece is sung first, then the familiar piece, then both at the same time.

    So . . . I don't have my middle school choir stuff here . . . but I think those are listed this way:

    Who Will Be A Witness by Donald Moore and Aura Lee arr. Snyder, or
    Marchin' with the Saints by Greg Gilpin

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