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Can There Be Open Source Music?

timothy posted 1 year,9 days | from the send-me-a-note dept.

Music 183

Lemeowski writes "Cygnus Solutions co-founder Michael Tiemann takes an in-depth look at whether music can truly ever be open source. Leaning on his personal experiences of trying to convince the market that a company that provided commercial support for free software could be successful, Tiemann argues that similar to how 'the future of software was actually waiting for the fuller participation of users ... so, too, is the future of the art of music.' In his essay, Tiemann makes a case for open source music, from licensing for quality recordings to sheet music with notes from the original composer in an easy-to-reuse format, and he offers ways to get involved in making music open source." Apropos open source music, reader rDouglass adds a link to the Open Goldberg Variations project, last mentioned on Slashdot in 2012.

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Of course there can. (4, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619587)

It's called "Traditional" or "folk music".

Re:Of course there can. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44619689)

Did you know that "When I'm Gone" (cup song) was originally a folk song? There are recordings of it from the 1930's. I personally prefer Eminem's cover of it.

Re:Of course there can. (4, Interesting)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619693)

It's also called "the public domain". There's a reason we end up with so many forks of different traditional songs, and it's because people weren't subject to repercussions for simply playing music.

Re:Of course there can. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620211)

It doesn't have to be. You can as easily license a song under GPL as a computer program or a book (Doctorow releases his books with a creative commons license, and he's been on the NYT best seller list).

Re:Of course there can. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44620631)

Amanda Palmer (for one) already does this!

Re:Of course there can. (4, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619695)

but the media cartel has extended copyright to ridiculous lengths of time to prevent music from becoming part of tradition or belonging to the people. the original reasonable limits had exactly that in mind.

Re:Of course there can. (5, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620159)

Anything that slows the distribution of Sonny Bono's music can't be all bad...

Re:Of course there can. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620183)

but the media cartel has extended copyright to ridiculous lengths of time to prevent music from becoming part of tradition or belonging to the people. the original reasonable limits had exactly that in mind.

Like with absolute power corrupting absolutely, the RIAA and MPAA have assumed their ability to sucker and/or buy the US Congress into extending copyrights to extreme lengths, has encouraged the to behave in an absolutely corrupt manner.

Re:Of course there can. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44620975)

but the media cartel has extended copyright to ridiculous lengths of time to prevent music from becoming part of tradition or belonging to the people. the original reasonable limits had exactly that in mind.

Only the music they own copyrights to. Nothing prevents other people (those not stupid enough to sign away all their copyrights to a record label) from placing their musical creations in the public domain, or adopting a Creative Commons or similar "sharing" license, if they so desire.

You should encourage musicians to do just that, and support the musicians who do, instead of whining that not everybody plays by the rules you want them to.

Re:Of course there can. (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | 1 year,9 days | (#44621211)

It's a bit more complicated than that.

Before the Berne Convention, many folk musicians (e.g. Pete Seeger and Woodie Guthrie) intentionally did not copyright their music. Nowadays, many folkies are either just totally ignoring copyright or using Creative Commons to give it away more effectively. And they're definitely more lax about enforcement than the RIAA ever was.

Also pretty common is to make the song itself public domain while copyrighting particular performances, arrangements, editions, etc. For example, while Bach's music isn't copyrighted, modern editions are, so you aren't supposed to photocopy them (but people do, all the time). The "Too Fat For Me Polka" may be public domain, but the recording of Frankie Yankovic playing it is not. And "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" isn't copyrighted, but a 4-part choir arrangement of it probably is.

Re:Of course there can. (1)

Immerman (2627577) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619737)

Indeed, hasn't music *always* been open source? Listen to any great composer and you will see plenty of earlier work being reused, reinterpreted, and expanded on, many times with explicit credit to their sources. How many great pieces of classical music were inspired by regional folk music while on vacation?

It's only in the last few centuries that people have even conceived of "owning" music in any real sense. If you had fame and influence perhaps you could get the local guild-hall to not let anyone else play your compositions while you were in town, but that was about the extent of it.

Re:Of course there can. (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620925)

Open Source = having the documents needed to reproduce the music.
Composers have not been publishing their sheet music for everyone to see. Instead people reverse engineer the sheet music by listening to recordings.

Re:Of course there can. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44621037)

Indeed, hasn't music *always* been open source?

Not all of it. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Of course there can. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620099)

It's called "Traditional" or "folk music".

Yep and anything which has fallen into the public domain due to the death of the one or all composing parties. Anyone in the present day who releases their work to the public domain is a saint. Alas, we keep listening to the sinners. Amazing what a load of obnoxious and lawyer summoning lot they can be, too.

Look up what transpired over only a fragment of Kookaburra in the song A Land Down Under [wikipedia.org] . 60%?!? For a flute riff?

Re:Of course there can. (1)

niado (1650369) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620801)

It's called "Traditional" or "folk music".

Yep and anything which has fallen into the public domain due to the death of the one or all composing parties. Anyone in the present day who releases their work to the public domain is a saint. Alas, we keep listening to the sinners. Amazing what a load of obnoxious and lawyer summoning lot they can be, too.

Look up what transpired over only a fragment of Kookaburra in the song A Land Down Under [wikipedia.org] . 60%?!? For a flute riff?

They were asking for 60%. The judge ruled that the band had to pay 5% of royalties, only going back to 2002 and going forward. Still silly (as Kookaburra was written in 1932) but not really that egregious.

Re:Of course there can. (2)

RedHackTea (2779623) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620379)

It didn't work to well for the "Happy Birthday" song (which is listed as a Folk Song on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] ): http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/nyregion/lawsuit-aims-to-strip-happy-birthday-to-you-of-its-copyright.html?_r=0 [nytimes.com]

Re:Of course there can. (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620635)

Happy Birthday is the poster child for why copyright is broken. Cultural ubiquity is so high, it should be considered to have lost all copyright.

... and what is yours is mine too. (1)

westlake (615356) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620939)

Cultural ubiquity is so high, it should be considered to have lost all copyright.

That argument could be used to deny protection to any performance or work of art that has met with broad popular acceptance in less than one week.

Re:Of course there can. (1)

niado (1650369) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620985)

Happy Birthday is the poster child for why copyright is broken. Cultural ubiquity is so high, it should be considered to have lost all copyright.

Well it's probably [ssrn.com] not under valid copyright anyway, for a number of reasons. A company asserts that it owns a valid copyright to the song, and collects royalties. The royalty amount is probably not high enough to be worth fighting in court, since the situation is pretty complicated, so someone would have to do it on principle. There was a lawsuit along these lines filed earlier this year, but it was dropped in July by the plaintiff for unknown reasons.

The Business Model Works Already (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44620911)

The business model works already; there are scores of musical instrument manufacturers who sell hardware designed for an open source implementation of music.

Re:Of course there can. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44620953)

Or MIDI

In a way (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44619597)

It's open source by nature, the source is in your brain, you just need to learn enough theory and gain enough hearing skills to be able to reverse engineer it yourself.

Re:In a way (1)

jellomizer (103300) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620093)

Well it is Open Source, you get the score.
If they decide to have an Open License to the score then you are good to go.

I personally HATE the Open Source stuff that doesn't have Source Code!!!

Just say it comes with a less End User Restrictive License.

Music is an open-source community (1)

Paul Steffen (2947609) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620503)

Virually all music is the product of music that came before it, in some way or another. It is a product of listening to other's music, resynthesizing the sounds that come from a lifetime of listening. Like software, there's certainly a grey area between inspiration and theft, which has been certainly perverted by the business side of music, but it was perfectly acceptable among classical composers to base works entirely off other's work. Whether you are a composer or a consumer, music is fairly dependent on memories of other music, of note patterns and sounds that evoke certain emotions, either intrinsic to the music or feelings & emotions related to the first time you've ever heard it or a similar piece of music. Without the strong connection between memory and music, I believe music would mean nothing to human beings. There's no doubt that Queen, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin made intrinsically great music, but the strongest feelings while listening to this music probably comes from your own associated memories & emotions upon first hearing or attending your first concert. It's also particularly powerful when it evokes memories or emotions that lie forgotten for years. Royksopp and Daft Punk have done quite well taking music that surrounded many of us as children and recycle it with a modern sound. This is also why there so many god-awful hip-hop remakes of 70's classics appearing now..

Re:In a way (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620959)

Thats like saying all software is open source as long as you have the binary.

With many ears... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44619605)

With many ears, all bugs are shallow.

Don't steal instruments from MOD files. (3, Funny)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619615)

Make your own. :D

Re:Don't steal instruments from MOD files. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44619915)

Human body sounds are my preferred instrument.
Nothing beats replacing drums with big gut-destroying farts.
And snare one of those vibrate-y farts when you are sitting on the floor.

Marvellous.

Re:Don't steal instruments from MOD files. (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620039)

Human body sounds are my preferred instrument.

Sans vulgarity, here's a guy [www.noob.us] who remixed the Micheal Jackson song Thriller using nothing but sounds he made with his own body (namely vocal chords).

Re:Don't steal instruments from MOD files. (1)

Talderas (1212466) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620875)

The human voice is a remarkable instrument. Most intruments make a single sound with varying pitches. The human voice can alter sound and pitch. Hence acapella.

isn't music already open source? (3, Informative)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619625)

It seems to me that music for which a written score exists is open source by definition, the score being the "source code" for the music. I'm not sure what notes from the original composer is supposed to entail these days. Back in the old days composers would include notes on how the music is to be played, but we have audio recordings for that now.

Re:isn't music already open source? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619721)

if you play that music you might get sued for unlawful performance. if you copy that music on a Xerox machine, or put on a web server, or transmit it by email you might get sued for copyright infringement. no it is not open source

Re:isn't music already open source? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44619867)

Just because it's not Free Open Source Music doesn't mean it's not Open Source.

Re:isn't music already open source? (1)

EvanED (569694) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619933)

Per Wikipedia:

"In production and development, open source as a philosophy promotes a) universal access via free license to a product's design or blueprint, and b) universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone."

Per the OSI:

"The âoeopen sourceâ label was created at a strategy session held on February 3rd, 1998 in Palo Alto, California, shortly after the announcement of the release of the Netscape source code. ... The conferees also believed that it would be useful to have a single label that identified this approach and distinguished it from the philosophically- and politically-focused label "free software." Brainstorming for this new label eventually converged on the term "open source", originally suggested by Christine Peterson."

However, "open source" still means that it has a free license.

Re:isn't music already open source? (0)

jellomizer (103300) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620133)

So you quote a site where any Nutter can post whatever they feel like. and an other site devoted to a particular agenda and viewpoint.

Re:isn't music already open source? (1)

EvanED (569694) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620275)

I note that it's better than any sources you've posted.

Re:isn't music already open source? (1)

EvanED (569694) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620353)

But because you apparently want something authoritative, how 'bout the OED:

"open source adj. [first published, on the Internet on 8 February 1998, by E. S. Raymond in a revised version of his paper 'The Cathedral and the Bazaar'; '[the term] was invented by Christine Peterson of the Foresight institute at a private meeting I ran a few days earlier' (E. S. Raymond, private communication)] Computing (chiefly attrib.) designating software for which the original program files used to compile the applications are available to users to be modified and redistributed as they wish."

Re:isn't music already open source? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619957)

Just because it's not Free Open Source Music doesn't mean it's not Open Source.

Exactly. The source is freely available, and the cost (my mother is a music teacher and I help with her finances) often borders on trivial. Almost a media cost.

Re:isn't music already open source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44620145)

If your score only references standarized instruments with commonly accepted voicings and tunings, sure.

But if you wanted to keep in the spirit of OSS, the "source code" to a modern track would have to be all information needed to recreate the song - for example, to recall the channel (eq, compressor etc) settings, mics used, how the lead guitarists instrument was customized to use only one pickup, the recordings of each vocal in a harmony before they were bounced together and so on.

We cannot necessarily have "open source" instructions as to how to redo a guitar performance or vocal perfectly, so the original unadulterated recordings would suffice. But even that is a practical relaxation rather than an ideological one.

Re:isn't music already open source? (1)

Solandri (704621) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620271)

It seems to me that music for which a written score exists is open source by definition, the score being the "source code" for the music.

That's what you'd think, but it's not. If you go look at the composer's original manuscript [wikimedia.org] , it's a bit of a mess. Courts have decided that the process of interpreting it and cleaning it up for typesetting and publication is creative enough to warrant its own copyright. As a result, pretty much any printed music since the early 1900s on is still under copyright. Music publishers pull many of the same tricks you hear about in printed books - a font with a quirk, an occasional typo or flourish added to fingerprint that particular score as theirs, and which if duplicated exactly can be used to prove it was copied.

IMSLP [imslp.org] has a huge repository of sheet music which has gone out of copyright and is thus freely distributable. What's really needed is OCR software for sheet music [kenai.com] which can then convert those public domain scores to an electronic format, then do a diff with various sources to remove stuff added by the publishers and reverse-engineer what was written by the original composer. Then you'd have something equivalent to "source code" for the music.

Re:isn't music already open source? (like HTML) (1)

Aguazul2 (2591049) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620309)

Even without the source (e.g. sheet music) someone with an experienced ear can transcribe it from a recording. So it is more like JavaScript or HTML on web pages -- everyone can read it and copy it but it still may be under some copyright or whatever -- but if you make it slightly different you're probably okay.

Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44619641)

Yes, yes there can. Have you never been to ocremix.org? It has been around for approximately forever.

Re:Yes. (3, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619711)

It has been around for approximately forever.

...rounded up to the nearest whole eternity.

Wrong question... (1)

chinton (151403) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619665)

Of course there can be open source music. The proper question is, of course, can there be good open source music?

Re:Wrong question... (1)

Nyder (754090) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619837)

Of course there can be open source music. The proper question is, of course, can there be good open source music?

what is considered "good" in music is usually subjective.

Re:Wrong question... (1)

optikos (1187213) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620157)

what is considered “good” in software is usually subjective.

Re:Wrong question... (1)

chinton (151403) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620771)

what is considered "good" in humor is usually subjective.

Re:Wrong question... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620231)

It isn't as much good, but popular.

Popular Music is about being played at a good enough level, so it will not offend the ears of average Joe. And sell as many copies as it can. While some Popular Music can be actually really good, it doesn't cover all the good music out there. There is plenty of good music that isn't popular, but is either considered to dull, or too extreme for average 5 minute attention span Joe.

Also there is a lot of Bad Music that isn't popular either just because it was bad. But if you want it popular you need to fit the right mold, and then you need money to push it.

Yes, but (5, Funny)

Russ1642 (1087959) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619703)

You'll only hear the cool intro, without the bass line because that's still in development, and only the first two verses are written. There should be some updates by the end of the year but we're not promising anything. The drum track is done with crappy open-source drum software but we're totally gonna get someone to record it for real as soon as we scrape together $50 to pay a drooler, I mean drummer. If you complain about the missing parts you'll just get yelled at for not making it yourself by teaching yourself to play the guitar.

Re:Yes, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44619843)

I can't tell if your comment was actually about music or open source software... well done.

Re:Yes, but (3, Funny)

asylumx (881307) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620049)

This all true, but I still can't resist the ability to take crappy country songs and fork them into acid rock...

Re:Yes, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44621017)

And I will enjoy taking crappy acid rock songs and forking them into country.

Looks like someone is already working that way. [hayseed-dixie.com]

Oh well, maybe there's still room for reworking rap into Gregorian chanting.

And then... (1)

Dareth (47614) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620057)

And then someone will "scratch their itch" and finish the song and write the rest of the lyrics just before the "Official Version" finally comes out with a complete yet inferior product. I will write music when I can get an Emacs plugin for it.

You were trying to be funny but... AAYSR (4, Informative)

RobertLTux (260313) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620177)

Re:You were trying to be funny but... AAYSR (1)

Dareth (47614) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620617)

Dude, I can so totally write out the Imperial March in Emacs now! Do you think Lucas Arts will sue me?

Re:Yes, but (1)

Rogue Haggis Landing (1230830) | 1 year,9 days | (#44621327)

Of course someone will complain about how awkward it is to work with the guitar-bass-drums toolkit, and rewrite the song in sitar-tabla.

henh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44619739)

All music for all time was open source.

They only attempted the "proprietary" model in the last 100 years or so and it was a complete disaster!

Happy Birthday to yoaskj;lahsdfahsdfoaudsh (is dragged off by copyright police)

Re:henh? (1)

Sir or Madman (2818071) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619927)

Yeah, and how was it a disaster? There appears to be a vast amount of music available at very low prices. Over the past 100 year music has evolved at an unprecedented rate. We now have thousands of different musical styles from millions of artists. And this was a disaster because you cannot publicly perform Happy Birthday without paying a small royalty?

Re:henh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44620009)

They only attempted the "proprietary" model in the last 100 years or so and it was a complete disaster!

IIRC, Stephen Foster made a pittance for tunes we still hum and sing today like "Old Folks at Home" and "Camptown Races", while sheet music printers walked off making millions on his tunes. That was before sound recording of any kind!

Lilypond (2)

caffiend666 (598633) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619783)

The Lilypond application has easy notation (at basic level), a good open source community, and can output both to nice printed sheetsheet music/pdfs and playable midi files. Lilypond is a great start in composing for people at least vaguely familiar with music notation and open source software.Â

Re:Lilypond (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619823)

Lilypond is useless for composing. Use anything but Lilypond while you compose. If you want top quality published music then it's by far the best choice out there.

Re:Lilypond (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619967)

http://musescore.org/ [musescore.org]

I use the portable version rather extensively, myself.

Re:Lilypond (1)

sidthegeek (626567) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620437)

I have to disagree. I'm able to put together musical ideas very quickly using LilyPond and a text editor. It's way faster for me to use the text editor than it is to use a GUI-based entry system.

As for publishing, I agree; LilyPond is excellent. However, I think most publishers use SCORE for publishing.

Re: Lilypond (1)

caffiend666 (598633) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620811)

Lilypond is next to useless for techno, and drum machines, but for traditional performance music, composition, and experimentation iilypond is great. The program is backwards for art, in that music is dedcribed mathematically first then performed, rather than performed then described. But, lilypond can drive real performances, both as midi output and real sheet music, from child to orchestra level.

It should be free, unless I did it (2, Insightful)

Sir or Madman (2818071) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619789)

People in fine arts on average earn far less than the average techie, so you know what? Stop trying to foist your "free" philosophy on everyone. It's disingenuous to suggest that art should be free (or even cheap) when you're pulling in $100k securing networks against people who would use them for free.

Free as in speech, not free as in beer (1)

sjbe (173966) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620119)

People in fine arts on average earn far less than the average techie, so you know what? Stop trying to foist your "free" philosophy on everyone.

They knew (or should have known) that when then they took up fine arts as a profession. Nobody is entitled to make a living from art just because they think they should. They have to earn it the same as anyone else.

It's disingenuous to suggest that art should be free (or even cheap) when you're pulling in $100k securing networks against people who would use them for free.

Who said it had to be free as in beer? What is being discussed here is whether it should be free as in speech. I have no problem at all with someone making lots of money from their art. What I DO have a problem with is the artist and their descendants have a perpetual income from those works. Copyright is supposed to be for a LIMITED time and there certainly is no justifiable reason why the copyright should extend beyond the time required to settle the estate of the artist.

If someone is willing to put something resembling an open source license on an artistic work then good for them. They are contributing to the betterment of society by doing so by encouraging more creative works.

Re:Free as in speech, not free as in beer (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44620489)

Then stop complaining that your jobs are going overseas or to H1B visas because "[n]obody is entitled to make a living from" IT "just because they think they should".

Re:Free as in speech, not free as in beer (1)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620521)

Copyright is supposed to be for a LIMITED time and there certainly is no justifiable reason why the copyright should extend beyond the time required to settle the estate of the artist.

I hold a lot of copyrights, three of them registered (I just registered my book Nobots last week), and I not only agree but think 30 years is a damned long time for a copyright to be valid. There's no reason for those two programs I wrote in 1983 to still be covered; hell, the computers they were written for were obsolete decades ago and any patents on those machines would have run out over ten years ago.

Re:Free as in speech, not free as in beer (3, Insightful)

Sir or Madman (2818071) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620691)

They knew (or should have known) that when then they took up fine arts as a profession. Nobody is entitled to make a living from art just because they think they should. They have to earn it the same as anyone else.

Yes, I agree. But why is it that OS supporters, who are invariably geeks and other variety of sysadmin, feel they need to constantly opine on arts-related copyright issues? Just because you listen to music and store it digitally does not make you an expert in the industry. Listening to geeks yammer on about alternate copyright for music is like listening to Lady Gaga talk about coding.

What I DO have a problem with is the artist and their descendants have a perpetual income from those works. Copyright is supposed to be for a LIMITED time and there certainly is no justifiable reason why the copyright should extend beyond the time required to settle the estate of the artist.

Yes, that's nice. Pro-tip: It is limited and is not perpetual.

Now I'm going to listen to Bob Dylan mumble on about how developers should be forced to release their source code after a limited time that he deems long enough for them to have made a reasonable return.

Re:It should be free, unless I did it (1)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620415)

Nobody's trying to foist anything on anybody, unless your definition of "foist" is "suggest".

Cory Doctorow credits his use of making his books GPL and giving them away for free at boingboing for his status as a New York Times best seller.

As he says, nobody ever lost money from piracy but many have starved from obscurity. Did you know that Van Gogh sold only one painting in his life, for a pittance, to his brother, to pay off a loan? And nobody can argue that his stuff's no good, people pay millions for it today, while his big dollar contemporaries in the galleries have all been forgotten.

Give away the art, sell the container (book, CD, sheet music, canvas).

Re:It should be free, unless I did it (2)

Sir or Madman (2818071) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620723)

Right. So the only people who would make money in art would be whoever can manufacture the cheapest container.

My take (5, Informative)

matthewtift (3025395) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619887)

I led the effort within Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) to make radio history in 2012 when WPR broadcast the entire Open Goldberg Variations recording on air while simultaneously broadcasting the score on the Web. I think public media would provide a particularly good "home" for this kind of music. I'm fascinated by the idea of "open source music" and I've shared my thoughts about it on my blog, in various posts, such as: Public Music for Public Media: An Introduction [matthewtift.com] , Open-Source Music: 10 More Reasons Why It Fits [matthewtift.com] , and On the Role of Open-Source Music Scores [matthewtift.com] .

Re:My take (-1, Troll)

Russ1642 (1087959) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619907)

Before you nobody had ever thought to listen to music with the score in front of them. But you did it "on the internet". Bravo.

Already been done (2)

jmcwork (564008) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619893)

Just ask Vanilla Ice.

Isn't This How It's Always Been? (4, Insightful)

coaxial (28297) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619931)

Open source isn't just free copying. That's just permissive licensing. The real power of open source is the ability to modify and share those modifications. That's always been the case in music.

See jazz.
See folk.
See hip-hop.
See country.
See blues.
See...

Creative Commons (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619935)

The Creative Commons license is perfect for this.

http://creativecommons.org/ [creativecommons.org]

BTW, I think Pearl Jam released one of their videos under a Creative Commons license, allowing fans to alter, re-cut, modify it to their hearts' content.

yes they just call it public domain (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44619953)

also this is the shittiest topic i've ever seen seems any arbitrary thing can make /. if you just try to add open source to the title.

The Real Question (2)

Rizimar (1986164) | 1 year,9 days | (#44619963)

If I am in a small crowd that is listening to a musical performance and I let out a cough that the other audience members can hear, could I consider myself a closed-source music hacker?

It exists.... Not sure why this is even a question (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44619965)

There are a lot of people out there that make music and supply the full midi or even fruityloops save file for it to be used by anyone for any reason. There are websites dedicated to public domain music. There's open source just about anything, just don't expect the highest quality work for anything that is open source but some people are passionate about providing for the community.

Already is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44619977)

It's called Royalty Free. There is complete music, loops, tracks, and sweetners, all of which you can mix with your own to make entirely new music. Lot's of artist have been doing it for decades.

Seriously? (1)

djupedal (584558) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620055)

Music is composed of notes that anyone is already free to assemble as they please.

Re:Seriously? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620589)

Obviously you're not serious (obvious because I don't think you're stupid). Books are also composed of words that anyone is already free to assemble as they please. Software is also composed of commands that anyone is already free to assemble as they please.

So what's your point?

Thit k, lp t, bo trì, sa cha ni hi công (-1, Offtopic)

iseowebvn (3025407) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620069)

CÔNG TY C PHN NI HI HÀ NI a ch Vn phòng i din : 96 Hoàng Vn Thái – Thanh Xuân – Hà Ni in thoi: 043 5668 113; Di ng: 0986 725 838 Email: noihoihanoi@gmail.com Website: http://noihoihanoijsc.com [noihoihanoijsc.com] Email: noihoihanoi@gmail.com Chuyên thc hin: Lp t, bo trì, sa cha ni hi công nghip. Lp t, bo trì, sa cha bm cp nc ni hi và h thng ng ng Lp t, bo trì, sa cha h thng t ng t lò ni hi Lp t, bo trì, sa cha h thng phun du ni hi Thit k, lp t, sa cha các thiêt b iên, iên t, in t ng iu khin ni hi Thit k, sa cha các bo mch iên, mch iêu khiên t ông hóa h thng t ni hi Cung cp ph tùng vt t thay th lnh vc ni hi công nghip. T vn k thut, cung cp chuyên viên vn hành ni hi, máy móc thit b k thut cao cho các nhà máy khu công nghip Cung cp h thng nu cm và bo trì bo dng h thng nu cm canh công nghip cho các n v ông ngi trên 100 sut n nh: trng hc, doanh tri quân i, xí nghip, tri giam, h thng nu ru bng hi, chng ct ru bng hi, gia công ni nu inox . H thng nu cm canh công nghip bao gm: ni hi, ni nu cm, ni nu canh, cho xào, bình un nc nóng . c tính toán chi tit theo yêu cu ca khách hàng. Vi kinh nghim nhiu nm trong lnh vc lp t, sa cha, bo trì ni hi công nghip và các thit b Nhit. Chúng tôi quyt tâm phc v quý khách hàng mt cách chuyên nghip vi: Giá c hp lý, m bo tin , ch bo hành hoàn ho, uy tín, bn vng. Ni Hi Hà Ni có i ng k s và chuyên gia giàu kinh nghim tt nghip ti các trng i Hc danh ting ti Vit Nam. Quý khách cn thêm thông tin, xin vui lòng liên h vi phòng K thut trung tâm (k s_Nguyn Vn Huy: 0986 725 838) hoc Website: http://noihoihanoijsc.com [noihoihanoijsc.com] bit thêm chi tit. Rt mong c hp tác.

It's Creative Commons, and it's commonplace. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44620077)

Creative Commons is functionally similar to Open Source in every respect.

My own music, poor and sickly as it is, is available for anyone to use, perform, re-arrange, or modify. I require no payment and grant blanket permission IF you give attribution, are using it non-commercially, and license derivative works in like manner. If you want to use it commercially or change the license terms, etc, then I do require you to ask permission. That's reasonable... I think if you want to treat your contribution in a traditional manner, then you should have to abide by those rules yourself. But CC licenses are varied, and may waive terms like reciprocity, making them more like a BSD license. Some might waive a non-commercial clause, making it more like the GPL.

A lot of vastly better artists than me (like Jonathan Coulton) also license some or all of their work under Creative Commons. Some gifted amateurs get together and hold competitions in which they share and build on each others' work... like SpinTunes, or "Frankensong" events. You'll find many of them on Bandcamp.com, where you can often set your own price for music.

These days I'll buy from independent artists FAR more frequently than from "the labels". I like the Creative Commons, and support it financially.

Re: It's Creative Commons, and it's commonplace. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44620847)

yes it is very commonplace. with an ever growing number of artists supporting it. many of them coming from the open source community who have taken those ideas and ran with them and applied them to music. i personally run a weekly creative commons music podcast along with a 24/7 cc music stream.

i have personally done an interview with the band T Bird and the Breaks who release under creative commons. their drummer Sam responded that he first got into open source and the creative commons because of slashdot.

the creative commons tells you exactly what you are allowed to do with music from re using in projects to remixing into new tracks. there are a growing number of artists making a living of releasing under cc by. google Kevin MacLeod and see what you find. open source music is here, just turn of the radio and start looking on the internet.

Re:It's Creative Commons, and it's commonplace. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44621195)

A lot of vastly better artists than me (like Jonathan Coulton)

If he's "vastly better than you," you must be *really, really, really* shitty.

Can we patch A7X (2)

asylumx (881307) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620087)

Could we submit a patch for Avenged Sevenfold's new album? They got confused and think they are Metallica. What's the equivalent of "FTFY" in music?

Trent Reznor (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44620117)

Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails fame) is composing and releasing open-source music: http://www.ninremixes.com/multitracks.php. Think of it like folk music, but with Garageband files and way more synth.

Do it himself (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44620153)

Perhaps rather than helping others to give their music away, Tiemann needs to lead the way creating his own open source music and let others follow.

I can't get my music to compile. (1)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620161)

Can I get someone to help debug my music source?

enough already (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44620229)

stop calling every fucking thing open source. ..and btw, "open source" music has been around since forever

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Module_file

Can There Be Open Source Love Letters? (2)

poity (465672) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620249)

or just endless forks of each other, never truly heartfelt, never truly satisfying?

Re:Can There Be Open Source Love Letters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44620861)

Oh, go fork yourself.

Nothing's stopping you. (1)

Rinikusu (28164) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620261)

Let us know how it goes.

Sampling (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44620571)

Isn't sampling considered open source?

Open source or public domain? (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620731)

What's the difference between Open Source music and music that's in the public domain?

Do you really need to create a licensing scheme for some piece of music that you just give away an audio recording with the accompanying sheet music?

What's next Open Source recipes?

open source music here (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44620809)

lalala la la lalalala la

done.

free as in beer, anyone is welcome to it

I've had a lot of discussions about this, actually (3, Interesting)

Lendrick (314723) | 1 year,9 days | (#44620855)

I run OpenGameArt.org, and we host a lot of creative commons licensed music. This is a topic that comes up fairly frequently, and the answer short answer is that, yes, music can be open source. The long answer is of course a bit more complicated than that.

For something to be "open source", this means that you need some sort of preferred source format that's easy to modify. In the case of people composing sheet music, that answer is easy. You provide the sheet music, or some open file type that saves note information (generally a midi file). There are a couple of cases where it's a lot more complicated.

Improvised music

What is the preferred, easy to modify source format for improvisation? The only possible answer is a recording, but recordings are *not* easy to modify in ways that are musically meaningful and still maintain the integrity of the original recording. Of course, this is Slashdot, so some pedant will of course point out that you can get a wav editor and lengthen and change the pitch of notes yourself, but this requires a lot of effort to make it sound good, and if the recording is of multiple notes being played at once, you're essentially out of luck unless you happen to have access to some very expensive, closed-source software, and even then, the results aren't going to be perfect. We could simply stop accepting recordings and start insisting on sheet music, but the only thing that really does is close out submissions of improvised music -- it doesn't increase the amount of "source" available. (Whereas, if you write a program, there's a very good chance that you have access to your source code.)

Musical Instruments

The other problem with a Midi file (and regular sheet music) is that, while it provides instructions for playing a piece of music, it doesn't give you a means of duplicating a performance exactly. For instance, if someone with thousands of dollars worth of proprietary audio software, sound samples, and production equipment produces a midi file of an orchestra, it's going to sounds pretty damn good. Give the sheet music to a conductor of an orchestra, and it's gong to sound amazing. Give the midi file to a random person with a computer and it's going to sound like it's being played on a gameboy. Point is, sheet music and midi files are not complete means of reproducing a performance exactly, whereas computer code is a complete way of reproducing a binary.

So yeah, shoehorning music into the "open source" mold isn't completely trivial, because music isn't completely analogous to software. On the other hand, the problems aren't so insurmountable that it would be impossible to consider certain music to be "open source", particularly if you loosen the definition a bit with respect to music and musical performances.

Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44621105)

Music is sound and sound is in nature so if you want to see it that way, it should be free but not the arrangements.

open source music (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44621333)

sounds interesting. i tried playing with MODs / impulse tracker, but i never did finish my song.

anyways, thanks for posting the links

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