Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Music Copyright and Town Music

The high school jazz 2004 reunion band getting ready to play last week at the town band shell.

Every town on Cape Cod has its own town band that plays weekly throughout the summer for residents and tourists. Admission is free. In my town, band members are not paid, nor do they have to pay a membership fee to be part of the band. They do get a free meal at a nice local restaurant at the end of the season though.

Having playing in my town's band until recently, I know that it is struggle to raise money to pay for new music. We pass the bucket at our concerts to get donations from those attending. The band has a huge collection of music, given it plays 14 pieces per concert, for ten weeks throughout the summer. Still it is always nice to freshen up the music with new purchases.

So it was interesting to read in today's Cape Cod Times that ASCAP is requiring $200-300 per town for blanket coverage to play live or recorded songs at town town venues. That includes town band, local cable television, arts fairs. Most towns pay up, as it would cost more than that to argue with ASCAP.

It seems a little heavy-handed, but as a musician playing at town events, it's good to know that our performances are covered under the copyright regulations, and that we won't be individually sued! We buy the music; it seems odd to have to pay to perform it. I don't know how the whole system works, but I do hope composers and sheet music producers will flourish.

1 comment:

nicnik said...

Hi, It's always soo good reading your blog because you update it so often!!! (un like mine ;)

The bike tires you wanted to look for were kevlar tires. Let me know how your next bike trip goes :)