Archive for the ‘Sheet Music’ Category

Music Copyright for Schools ~ Print Music

Sunday 7 March, 2010

Information for Schools @ APRA-AMCOS website

Music copyright has been a constant source of frustration for me as a music teacher! So I am listing my investigations to make it clearer to me.

I stumbled across the Teachers and Schools brochure (PDF file) put out by Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) whose aim it is to raise awareness of music piracy in Australia. At the end, it lists the main copyright authorities and their relevant licences:

  1. AMCOS/ ARIA Schools’ Recording Licence – Allows copying of music in specified situations.
    All government schools in Australia are covered by the licence, and private schools may also be covered through an agreement with their peak education body.
  2. AMCOS Schools’ Photocopying Licence – Allows photocopying of sheet music (limits apply).
    All government schools are covered by the licence. If you teach at a non-government school you should check with your peak education body whether your school is covered.
  3. PPCA Public Performance Licence – Covers the public performance of sound recordings.
    Your school must contact PPCA to obtain the relevant licence. Alternatively, your school can contact the relevant copyright owner directly.
  4. APRA Public Performance Licence – Covers the public performance of musical works.
    All government schools are covered by the licence and most other schools in Australia are covered through an agreement with their peak education body. Check with your peak education body if unsure.

As photocopying music for the classroom is one of the most important areas for me as an educator, I am listing the rules I have found from the MIPI Teachers and Schools brochure, the AMCOS website, the AMCOS Music Copyright for Schools brochure and the AMCOS Print Music Guide.

  1. Your school must own the original sheet music (i.e. not just the teacher).
  2. Licenses cost 59.43 cents per student. Government schools are automatically covered, Non-Government school teachers should check with their relevant peak body. In my case, $250 will cover my 420 students (mandatory course, elective courses and ensembles).
  3. Each copy must be stamped with “AMCOS Licensed Copy”, the school’s name, the date and the copy number (eg. 1/15).
  4. Private music tutors are not covered by the AMCOS Schools’ Photocopying Licence.
  5. Private music tutors are not allowed to photocopy music from the school library for their students.
  6. Digital copying, scanning and computer storage is not covered under the licence.
  7. Print music may be copied for the classroom, instrumental ensembles and singing groups within the school.
  8. Copies may be lent to other schools if performing together, but must be returned at the end of the event.
  9. Copies may not be lent to private music tutors, community groups, churches or for students’ external music exams.
  10. The AMCOS licence does not cover copying textbooks, dictionaries, method books, theory books, libretti and more than 3 songs from a stage production.
  11. Photocopies of photocopies may only be made to replace lost, stolen or destroyed copy.
  12. The Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licence only covers up to 10% of a music work.
  13. The CAL licences does cover up to 10% for digital copying only if it is not commercially available, or is too expensive, or takes too long to order (how ridiculous!).
  14. Copies may be given to students for home practice, but are not in addition to the allowable copy limits (listed below).
  15. Song books with words are not covered and you will need to contact the music publishers (including Christmas carols).

The following table lists how many copies may be made in relation to how many originals the school owns:

Type of Work
Primary School High School
Separate Choral Sheet 5 5
Separate Musical Work 30 15
Up to 3 Songs from a Collection 30 15
Transcription of a Musical Work 30 15
Transposition of a Musical Work 30 15
Parts from an Orchestral/Band Set 30 30
Up to 3 Works from
an Orchestral/Band Set Collection
30 each 30 each
Parts from a Chamber Music Work
(with a maximum of 1 per instrument)
10 10

Right, so that’s about as much details as I can be bothered with. Perhaps in a later post I will detail the other half of music copyright for schools …performance!


ANZAC Day Tribute 2009

Friday 24 April, 2009

ANZAC day honours the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who have fought and died in war since the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915 during the Great War (World War I). ANZAC troops landed at Gallipoli, Turkey on 25th April 1915. There is nothing glorious about war and we should avoid it at all costs. But on ANZAC day we pause to remember those who fought and died for the tremendous freedoms we have gained. Music plays an important role in our reflection and connection with others on this day.

Bugle calls feature prominently during ANZAC day ceremonies. The Last Post signals the end of the day of fighting. Reveille means “wake again” in French and is played at the beginning of the day. On ANZAC day, The Rouse is usually used instead of Reveille as it is shorter. The Last Post is played to symbolise those who have died in battle, a minute’s silence reflection is broken by The Rouse which symbolises the dead rising to new life. Click here to see the bugle call melodies.

Here is a very touching ANZAC tribute with Amazing Grace played by the Canadian Scottish Regiment Pipes and Drums with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band, and The Last Post by Peter Tiefenbach & Stuart Laughton.

Online Sheet Music?

Friday 11 July, 2008

Ever wondered if you can get sheet music online for free? Well you can LEGALLY find partial music content, public domain sheet music, online instrumental lessons and guitar TABs.

Obviously, musicians earn their living from their music. We want to support that without breaking copyright rules. And we all know the internet has blurred some of these boundaries. For me, the internet is a great place to sample what music’s out there and if I like it, I go out and pay for it. That way I get better audio quality, a CD booklet with it’s information and art, and sheet music that is more accurate. But remember, it’s not against the law to play someone else’s music. It is only against the law to make a profit from their music or obtain their music illegally (this usually means without paying).

So with that out of the way, there are some good music sites with some good information. It is not illegal to post partial pieces of music, as long as it’s not considered “substantial”. With a little musical talent you can fill in the blanks and perform the music just like (or better) than the original artist. Here’s a list of sheet music, music lesson and guitar TAB sites I found on my travels…

  • – pick your style, artist and song. Go to “riff lesson” and you will see the song’s riffs with music notes, audio examples and written explanations. There are also guitar and piano chords down the bottom of each page that you can even transpose! A great way to start jamming out some tunes!
  • Free Piano Music – mostly classical. All music here is public domain (that means no copyright). The best thing here is you can view the sheet music (PDF) and then listen to the audio (MIDI) to hear how it sounds! Awesome!
  • Lessons – click one of the light blue buttons. Each lesson has heaps of explanations, music notes and plenty of audio examples (podcasts). He’s not the best guitarist but he’s not bad. Best of all, these lessons are free!
  • – unfortunately there’s lots of advertising! But you can choose from guitar, bass and drum TABs! You can also see user comments to help you decide if it’s a good TAB or not.
  • – enter your song or artist details straight into the search box. Nice, clean site. I love the “Auto Scroll” function, you can play your guitar infront of the computer and the screen will gradually scroll down so you can keep on playing! Cool!

How to Read Guitar TAB by John Heussenstamm

Once again, if you find any good sheet music, online lessons or guitar TAB sites please post a comment.