Monday, September 06, 2010

DIY Questions: Determining Copyrights To Compile A Community Musical Revue

Okay, so I've had an idea for a children's music revue to be performed by children.  It will consist entirely of "happy" music from the 20's and 30's, mostly obscurities, which lend themselves to kid-friendly pantomimed interpretations.  A song like this is an example: The Sun Is At My Window
I figure that if we can obtain sheet music (or even figure out the music, more or less -- I'm not a musician so I don't know how feasible that would be) we could get a pianist to accompany some reasonably capable kids.  The choreography would be uncomplicated as well:  the "Sun" stands outside a window and alternately tosses (lightly, children!) chocolate kisses and makes faces at the singer, who can mug as much as she wants while she sings and, especially, during instrumental interludes.  I figure it would be a fun piece to put on and that there are enough similar songs ("I Faw Down and Go Boom!", for example) to make a nice little evening starring community kids.
So, how the hell do I start figuring out:
  1. Whether the songs in which I am interested are still under copyright;
  2. Who holds the copyright;
  3. How much the rights would cost;
Are there services which make this easy for people like me, who don't have much money but would like to put together a little evening for community consumption?  Suppose, if it is a success, I want to post the script to the web for other communities to duplicate it?
Anyone out there know the answer?

No comments: