For MUSIC REQUESTS and QUESTIONS about availability, including Copyright issues
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I've been doing some research on what popular folk songs are in the public domain and trying to track down history and public domain sources for them. Is there a good forum to discuss this sort of thing with others? Found some interesting posts on specific song histories at the mudcat forum mixed in among the other posts. Was wondering if there was a specific forum for discussing/tracking origins of public domain songs. Was also wondering if anyone else was interested in this sort of thing.
I asked Helehe Whitson, Founder of the San Francisco Bay Area Choral Archive. She wrote:
Public domain usually means material published before 1923. The U.S.
Copyright Office would probably have answers to such questions:
http://www.copyright.gov/records. Often, the original song author/composer
is anonymous, and there are standard versions that one finds. But, if the
song is arranged by someone, then it may be copyrighted.
The Harry Fox Agency (licensing) suggests checking:
PD Info (Public Domain Information Project): http://www.pdinfo.com/
Pdmusic.org (Public Domain Music): http://www.pdmusic.org/.
These don't cover every song, but they cover a lot.
I don't know of any specific forum that deals with public domain songs.
Posting such a question on one of the Choralnet forums might be helpful:
http://www.choralnet.org/list/forum. I think you have to join Choralnet to
be able to post: http://www.choralnet.org.
I hope these responses are helpful.
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