This is a non-profit-making site which provides free software and information on a variety of subjects. All content is copyright, © Susan Foord, unless stated otherwise. You may view, copy and use anything you find here free of charge. However, you may not claim ownership of or sell any part of it. For example:
Some files have been zipped. You will need to unzip them after downloading to your computer (eg with WinZip, PKUNZIP or LHARC). None of the software requires further installation. Just create your own program group item or desktop shortcut.
Sources differ a little, but I think the position is as follows. Copyright starts when a work is committed to hard copy (not while just in memory). Originally this meant paper but tape, film, floppy and hard disk are now equally valid. Either the symbol © or the word Copyright can be used but this notice is not actually necessary. No action beyond the writing of the work needs to be taken for copyright to exist. Of course it does help for the date and author's name to be present somewhere on the hard copy.
For stuff written before 1978, it matters whether the person was self-employed or under contract. Non-contract copyright lasts from time of writing to 50 years after death. Contract copyright is 100 years from written date or 75 years from published date (whichever runs out first!). For stuff written from 1978 onwards, copyright lasts from time of writing to 75 years after death.
These rules have changed recently because of undue pressure from some organisations. As of 1988: copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work expires at the end of the period of 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies. As of 1995/6: copyright expires at the end of the period of 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies
Meanwhile, copyright in the typographical arrangement of a published edition expires at the end of the period of 25 years from the end of the calendar year in which the edition was first published. Copyright in a performance (eg a specific recording of a work) lasts for 50 years after the date of publication. NB the performers are assumed to have settled anything owing to the composers at the time of recording. Digital remastering or clean-up of old recordings does not attract its own new copyright as it is not a creative activity.
Copyright law used to allow for a small proportion of a publication to be photocopied or quoted for some specific purposes. Assuming this is still true and can be extended to music, then things such as sampling music and generating ring tones may be legal. However, it is still not polite to do so without crediting the source.
I found a good cheap program for writing music on a PC - NoteWorthy Composer. It has its own file format (NWC files) and can also save as midi, WMF or clipboard. While you can play a midi file, you can't read and play from it. Although the image types can be put into a Word document, I found my publisher couldn't use this format on their computer. Turning a WMF image of some staves into a GIF with PaintShop Pro gave an uneven and hard to read result. Other music I have seen on the web is also hard to read.
I have created a set of GIF files that can be used in HTML tables to create music staves. Obviously there are limitations to what can be accomplished without generating too many GIFs. I stuck to single notes, but chords and joined up quavers could be added if necessary. I chose a small height, but a taller set of GIFs is ready if more off-staff notes are needed. However, the on-screen and print quality of the music is much better than the WMF to GIF method. With my GIFs you can publish simple sheet music without a music or painting program.
The rounds I have written out should be copyright free. Most are so old that they are traditional (author unknown) or copyright has expired.
The folk songs I have written out should be copyright free. Most are so old that they are traditional (author unknown) or copyright has expired.
Some songs also have midi files that you can play (look for the quavers next to the title).
The duet and trio arrangements are designed for instruments pitched a fifth apart. The parts are already transposed. This is easier for most players - who will only have learned one set of fingering. So for descant and treble recorders the treble players use descant fingering. Flageolets (penny-whistles) can be in G and C (or in F and B-flat). Alternatively, clarinets could play the upper parts and alto saxophones the lower ones.
The quartet arrangements are designed for recorders. These must be 2 descants, treble and tenor (or 2 tenors). Note that the treble recorder has its own fingering.
Carols have been around for centuries and not all were sung at Christmas. Some were written for other festivals, such as Easter. Carols tend to have sillier words or stories than hymns. Classical composers also wrote religious works or had their music re-used.
I have arranged a selection of carols etc for recorder quartet. The recorders must be 2 descants, treble and tenor (or 2 tenors). Note that the treble recorder has its own fingering.
The zipfile contains NoteWorthy Composer files (.NWC). Their software can be downloaded for a trial period from their site (see the link at the bottom of this page). The other files are in HTML & GIF format.
Ring tone tunes can be entered manually on programmable mobile phones using its key-pad. However, these phones can also receive tunes via text messages or from a file (usually with a .RTX extension). The "standard" file format for this is called RTTTL (ringing tones text transfer language). I have prepared a number of tunes in this format. Simply select the text of one and paste it into a file (eg with Notepad). The categories are: