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Thread: Credit on partial transcription/borrowing on arrangements

  1. #1
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    Credit on partial transcription/borrowing on arrangements

    I recently completed arranging 10 tunes for a vocalist and a little big band that I put together (3-3-3-4 rhythm) for a large performance and live recording. The vocalist wanted some of the original arrangement material incorporated. There are sections that are mostly transcribed but scaled to our instrumentation (e.g., if strings, I'd have saxes catch those lines if they weren't already playing...or I'd bag the string lines altogether if we can't cover them; had to make decisions for horn sections on which 3 parts to use rather than 5-parts on the original; we may have bagged original backgrounds or I did my own then came back to the original shout material; we may have elected to do it in a different key or not do a modulation, or open it up for solos; etc). So, for many of the tunes, if you know the originals (e.g., Porgy & Bess - It Ain't Necessarily So, with Louis & Ella singing/scatting on uptempo), you'd know my arrangement was largely that one, just altered slightly, cut for an agreed-upon roadmap change and scaled down.

    My question is, for the CD (this was a live recording) in terms of credit/attribution of the arrangement on tunes where I borrowed a significant amount of material but mixed it with my own material to suit our agreed-upon roadmap and instrumentation, what is proper to list on the CD (this was a live recording)? Do I put after the tune name simply "Tune Name - Composer Name, Arr. My Name", or must I say "..., Transcr/Arr. My Name", and in either case, must there also be notes elsewhere that credit the original arranger? I'm not sure if this is a legal or ethical question...maybe a bit of both?

    This was my first venture with a vocalist...I'm generally writing original music on my various projects or doing my own arrangements -- definitely don't ever borrow like this, so I'm not sure how to approach the credit...not looking to hide the fact that I borrowed, but if it's widely accepted to just say "Arr, My Name", then I'll go with that.

    Thanks in advance for any replies!

  2. #2
    AAJ's Spammer Exterminator Tenorman's Avatar
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    How about something like "with extracts from original arrangements by (original arranger)"

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  3. #3
    Compose /Arranger / Jazz Prod. Phil Kelly's Avatar
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    or:

    "arrangement based upon the ( year ) arrangement by ( original arranger )
    Swing ..or I'll kill you ( Bill Potts )
    RIP

  4. #4
    Piano/Compose/Arrange engelbach's Avatar
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    Phil is extremely experienced in the biz so his advice is indubitably solid.

    However, what is the legal status of the other arrangement? If it's not copyrighted your acknowledgment is a welcome courtesy. Otherwise, obviously you might need permission to use the material.
    Jerry Engelbach, piano/arrange/compose
    Engelbach Music
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  5. #5
    Compose /Arranger / Jazz Prod. Phil Kelly's Avatar
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    Reading Jers' note reminded me of something important I left out:

    In addition to crediting the original arranger, if you are going to SELL these recordings, you need to pay for mechanical licenses to all the copyright
    owners ( or publishers /administrators ) on any material you didn't write
    yourself ( unless the songs qualify as being in the public domain )

    You can do this online through the Harry Fox Agency. If you plan on pressing fewer than 10K CDs, theres a big drop in the rates used to calculate the mechanicals. Be sure and mention this when obtaining the licenses.

    www.harryfox.com/
    Swing ..or I'll kill you ( Bill Potts )
    RIP

  6. #6
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    Would you be interested in selling these arrangements?

  7. #7
    Compose /Arranger / Jazz Prod. Phil Kelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BSTRUMPET View Post
    Would you be interested in selling these arrangements?
    selling the arrangements opens another huge can of worms
    ( and I can tell you from past experience the Gershwin estates lawyers are NOT easy to deal with .)
    Swing ..or I'll kill you ( Bill Potts )
    RIP

  8. #8
    Piano/Compose/Arrange engelbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Kelly View Post
    selling the arrangements opens another huge can of worms
    ( and I can tell you from past experience the Gershwin estates lawyers are NOT easy to deal with .)
    Phil,

    Where have you been? Good to hear from you!

    Cheers,
    Jer
    Jerry Engelbach, piano/arrange/compose
    Engelbach Music
    Weaver of Dreams
    Artwork

  9. #9
    Compose /Arranger / Jazz Prod. Phil Kelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by engelbach View Post
    Phil,

    Where have you been? Good to hear from you!

    Cheers,
    Jer
    Hi Jer:

    I've been busy writing 2 CDs ( awaiting funding to record ), also trying to get enough bread together to do another project of my own ( about 60% there to date ), and I'm afraid I've been spending too much time on the FaceBook monster ( my bad )

    How is El Sud treating you ?


    Swing ..or I'll kill you ( Bill Potts )
    RIP

  10. #10
    Piano/Compose/Arrange engelbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Kelly View Post
    Hi Jer:

    I've been busy writing 2 CDs ( awaiting funding to record ), also trying to get enough bread together to do another project of my own ( about 60% there to date ), and I'm afraid I've been spending too much time on the FaceBook monster ( my bad )

    How is El Sud treating you ?


    At the risk of hijacking this thread ...

    Love it. Best thing that ever happened to me. I wish I'd moved here forty years ago, when I first visited.

    Oh, no, zombied by Facebook. Isn't there a medication for that?

    Listen, I'm just glad to hear that you're still kicking. Long silences make people wonder.

    Cheers,
    Jer
    Jerry Engelbach, piano/arrange/compose
    Engelbach Music
    Weaver of Dreams
    Artwork

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