Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Stringsinger Copyright on Trad tunes (16) RE: Copyright on Trad tunes 09 Nov 08

Here's what I think. You can change the tune within eight consecutive bars of music to claim a copyright. Where you run into trouble is the lyric. You can't copyright a title. For example
James Taylor and George Harrison wrote "Something in the Way She Moves" (different lyric and tune).

Most Dylan, Guthrie, and others have antecedent tunes for their lyrics. For example the tune for Dylan's "Masters of War" is Jean Ritchie's "Nottamun Town". Dylan's "God On Our Side" was "Patriot Game" or the traditional "One Morning In May". Guthrie's "This Land" was taken from an old hymn and is close to the Carter family's "Little Pal O' Mine".

Simon 's "Scarborough Fair" has the first part which is traditional
and the second "Canticle" composed.

Folk songs were meant to be re-written slightly. This is why they
are folk because the tunes are somewhat recognizable.


Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.