Composer versus arranger for parodies

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Cdalitz
Posts: 135
Joined: 24 Apr 2007 14:42

Composer versus arranger for parodies

Postby Cdalitz » 09 Mar 2017 07:19

While the convention for chorale/hymn settings on CPDL seems to be to list as composer only the author of the choir setting and not the author of the melody, I wonder what should be done in the following case of a parody: the original melody was written for a 19c poem, and then later reused for an arrangement with a completely different parodistic text.

Following CPDL conventions, the composer of the original melody would be dropped, but I wonder whether it is possible to add an entry field "Melody" below "Composer". Or should there be two composer entries with "arrangement" and "melody" in parenthesis?

carlos
Site Admin
Posts: 1774
Joined: 19 Aug 2008 15:26
Location: São Paulo, Brasil

Re: Composer versus arranger for parodies

Postby carlos » 10 Mar 2017 04:15

Hallo Christoph,
Cdalitz wrote:Following CPDL conventions, the composer of the original melody would be dropped, but I wonder whether it is possible to add an entry field "Melody" below "Composer".

I'd opt for adding some text to the Description: line, explaining that that setting was based on melody X composed by Y for text Z.

I particularly don't think that we should use two composer entries in this case.

Regards,
Carlos (talk)
CPDL Administration

Bcjohnston523
Posts: 51
Joined: 03 May 2014 03:33
Location: Gunnison, Colorado, USA

Re: Composer versus arranger for parodies

Postby Bcjohnston523 » 13 Mar 2017 18:56

I guess you are using the term "parody" in its serious sense? (I don't use it in that sense, though.) If so, then the discussion might include psalm-tunes harmonized (or re-harmonized) by Thomas Ravenscroft, John Dowland, Thomas Tallis, and others. And there are many, many cases in early American music where composer-compilers (such as William Walker) re-arranged earlier works. It seems to depend on how famous the arranger is. Sometimes, the arrangement-harmonization is listed under the arranger-harmonizer as composer, including the history of the tune in the Description section – especially if the composer of the tune is Anonymous, as with Ravenscroft, Dowland, William Walker, et al. (But sometimes the original composer is well-known and famous enough to warrant listing on both Composer pages.)

More often, all the arrangers and accompanying discussion appear on the work page under the original Composer. There may be scholarship on the history of the tunes (and lyrics), which should be referred to in the Description section as well, with publications referenced.
That said, you can probably find cases where I haven't done all my homework, because it does take time. It helps the users, though, as evidenced by some e-mails I have received and postings on music websites.

Cdalitz
Posts: 135
Joined: 24 Apr 2007 14:42

Re: Composer versus arranger for parodies

Postby Cdalitz » 19 Mar 2017 16:47

Bcjohnston523 wrote:I guess you are using the term "parody" in its serious sense?

Yes, I had meant it in its broadest sense of taking a piece of music or text and transforming it into a different context. Although the piece I had in mind actually is a parody in its modern sense (with a humoristic or sarcastic connotation).

I have followed your suggestion and explained the historic layers of the text in the work description while ascribing the work to the author of its latest form.


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