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MMD > Archives > November 2009 > 2009.11.01 > 01Prev  Next

Credits on Piano Roll Labels
By Rowland Lee

Paul Meehan, on 28 October, wrote:

  "One thing that raises my eyebrows almost every time I look at the
label of a piano roll is the usual lack of credit to the creator of
the piece.  There is always a credit to the player, but almost never
a credit to the composer, unless it's classical music.  How did QRS
and others get away without giving credit to the person who created
the song?"

I must thank Paul Meehan for mentioning a subject which has caused me
to gripe and grumble to myself many times over the years; how, indeed,
did they get away with it and, more to the point, did they not think
that owners of rolls would find it interesting to know who had created
the music?

It is an especially strange habit in the case of QRS as they frequently
give the name of the publisher; why give the name of the publisher
alone without that of the composer and lyricist?  I find it hard to
believe that a music publisher would insist, for reasons of copyright,
on their own name being given without those of the composer and author,
especially when these are often celebrities in their own right.

I would be very interested to know if other people find this practice
strange or irritating, or if they can shed any light on the possible
reasons behind it.  I suspect that possibly most people would organise
their popular music rolls alphabetically by title, so the absence of
a composer's name would not necessarily be an irritation as it
undoubtedly would be in the case of classical rolls, which are perhaps
more likely to be organised alphabetically by composer (or numerically
in the case of collections dedicated to one manufacturer).

Perhaps I am being too pedantic, but then, I am a composer myself.  It
is true that, along with other composers, I am finding it increasingly
difficult to secure credits on the packaging of DVD releases of TV
series; However, this is not analogous as here the music is not the
principal element, as it is on a music roll.

Rowland Lee
Lincolnshire, UK

 [ The simple answer, I believe, is the publisher demanded that his name
 [ appear on the label of the piano roll.  Because the composer(s) had
 [ already sold all rights to the publisher, composer credit was at the
 [ option of the sheet music publisher or the music roll publisher.
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Sun 1 Nov 2009, 12:02:43 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  Credits, Labels, Piano, Roll

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