Getting Permission to Use Copyrighted Texts in Musical Works

For those of you who read my articles on the commissioning process, you’ll recall that one of the things a commissioning contract will typically contain is a clause stating that you’ve cleared the rights to any copyrighted text or music you use in your work. Music publishers put similar clauses their writer agreements and labels […]

Contemplating The Jazz Canon

The other day I read on Salon a well-written and fairly lengthy article by Scott Timberg called “Did The American Songbook Kill Jazz?” A provocative title, but I think even the author would agree, to paraphrase Twain, that the reports of the death of jazz are greatly exaggerated. The music is constantly performed, recorded, written […]

Why My Friend Is Wrong on Gun Control

The tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut has re-energized the debate on our nation’s gun policy. Most commentators in the media and the blogosphere have called for tighter gun laws. My friend Ron, who’s written a scholarly article on the Second Amendment, takes a contrary view. Ron is no gun nut. […]

So Nu, Music?

As many of my friends and colleagues know, I’ve been working for nearly two years on launching a comprehensive new promotion, publishing and licensing service for classical and jazz composers. Needing a break from dealing with the travails of software application development and the cast of characters involved, I decided last night to actually go […]

The Chess Game of Fact Checkers As Applied To Music

“You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.” – Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan For the past several election cycles, a cottage industry of fact-checkers emerges from their pumpkin patches each fall to assess the credibility of candidates’ claims.  One of most-quoted of these,, is affiliated with […]

Why The Obama Big Bird Ad’s Going Bye-Bye

Since last week’s Presidential debate, Big Bird’s eight-foot high profile has grown even larger.  It started with a comment that Republican contender, Gov. Mitt Romney, made to the moderator, Jim Lehrer of PBS , about cutting federal funding for PBS programs, including Lehrer’s own NewsHour and Sesame Street. Mr. Romney specifically singled out Big Bird […]