Public Domain research

Public Domain research

What is a good way of going about that? I’m looking to record, and I need a good website/book/anything where I can find out the nature of the copyright on a tune or whether or not it’s public domain.

Thanks!

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Re: Public Domain research

The Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin has a system devised by Brendan Breathnach where the first two bars of a tune can be codified numerically by representing the intervals of the structural tones as a number using the tonic note as one. If you email them, they can probably send you more detailed information on how to do this. The issue with this approach however is that the vast majority of tunes in Breathnach’s colleciton are actually in the public domain but at least you could use it as a verification tool.

Another advocated by one of their staff is to google the tune in its ABC format although I haven’t found this as successful.

Failing that, I actually think that the tunes database here at thesession.org is one of the most user friendly approaches to researching tunes…

Hope that helps,

M.

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Re: Public Domain research

http://www.irishtune.info/
http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/FCfiles.html

There are some others–I believe ASCAP has a database, probably the other licensing outfits do too. I used to have some links for them, but I deleted those from my browser’s Favorites list because I swore I would never go through that frustrating process again.

Another approach–find old (more than 75 years old) tunebooks and see if the tune is listed there.