I am still in the process of scanning the vast collection I borrowed
in April, and the endless boxes are curiously organized by one or
another category. In this specific case, I have encountered a set of
35 pristine Klavier rolls punched on vellum.
Klavier Music Rolls, of North Hollywood, California, seems to have had
an interesting history, not least of which is the acquisition of many
roll rights, authorship of rolls from greats like J. Lawrence Cook, and
many other distinctions. As I tried to understand Klavier's mid-1970s
role in the piano roll history, I encountered multiple roadblocks,
notably an utter Internet silence about their publishing history, as
well as an unhelpfully whispered aspersion against Klavier pertaining
to copyright violations.
All of these I could have happily ignored, until I encountered Klavier
roll M1122, entitled "Who Takes Takes Care of the Caretaker's Daughter,"
a trifle written in 1925 and hardly of any passing note, _except_ that
the roll is identical to QRS 3140, arranged by J. Lawrence Cook, and
there is no attendant attribution.
Complicating matters is that there is no attendant information about
the Klavier publication date, since there are no Klavier catalogs.
Consequently, there's no way of knowing what was Klavier's expectation
of copyright expiration, which they might have relied upon to exonerate
their intellectual property claim.
Full disclosure: I don't care a fig about what Klavier might have tried
to, or not to, pull off with regard to this or other works. My primary
intent is to encourage MMD readers to tell the Klavier story yet untold.
If I search the otherwise-bottomless MMD archive, I'm amazed to swiftly
reach bottom on the topic of Klavier, and I can't believe that there's
not more to be told. Surely there must be some actors on the West Coast
with historical amplification about the Klavier enterprise.
[ MMDigest articles about Klavier are indeed at
[ -- Robbie