Saturday, June 01, 2019

Scores and Parts for Rob Birdwell's Original Tunes

Been busy working on new music, gigging and enjoying life! I'm in the process of migrating my scores/parts for my original and public domain works to Sheet Music Plus!

The Sheet Music Plus service is a good fit for me, will save me time (more time for music!), and will hopefully expose my composing/arranging work (and even some of my songs!) to a much wider audience!

St. James Infirmary Blues is one of my arrangements now on Sheet Music Plus - it's a public domain song so I can make it available!  Enjoy the amazing Katie Smith's fabulous performance as well as that of everyone in the Corvallis-OSU Symphony!

I have several other derived work "arrangements" - making those available is much more complex.  There are some incredible publishers and rights organizations out there - but getting licensing for an orchestral arrangement is expensive folks - the best offers I've had offer a 12.5% markup price if I'm selling - that's actually good, but I have yet to sign any paper work for that deal.  The WORST are the offers (and I won't dignify them with even mentioning names) for an "arranger license" of around $400 or more!  That wouldn't even include any costs for the score or parts.  I've had to turn down MULTIPLE requests from some GREAT orchestras because I simply don't have the rights.

So yea, I get it.  Intellectual property, and all that jazz.  It's important.  I've been threatened with infringement fees in the past, but hopefully never again.  The "arranger license" fees will pretty much mean there's no way any of my 3 to 5 minute arrangements of other authors' songs will ever be heard in a public venue again!  Well, not unless something changes or there's some sort of reasonable solution that has an economy of scale suitable for the small-town arranger and local orchestra.

I do like the 12.5% markup idea.  Wouldn't it be great to write an arrangement of a cool tune, make the score/parts available for $50 bucks and send $6.25 of any sales to the publisher/rights holder?  Ah, if only it were that simple!

I'm going to stick to writing/composing ORIGINAL music/songs/lyrics!  The pay may not be great but wow is it satisfying!

I've got some projects in the works that I'm excited about - these things always take time so check back soon!

Meanwhile, keep playing it pretty!


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