Some of the 2019 Paul Revere award winning sheet music publications on display on a table in the back of the room during the 2019 Music Publishers Association's annual membership meeting.
Pondering New Digital Distribution Models and the Paul Revere Awards for Graphic Excellence—MPA 2019
Some of the 2019 Paul Revere award winning sheet music publications on display during the 2019 Music Publishers Association meeting,

Pondering New Digital Distribution Models and the Paul Revere Awards for Graphic Excellence—MPA 2019

The 2019 meeting of the Music Publishers Association, which took place last week in New York City, was a combination of reminiscences of the past and planning for the future, both in terms of legal issues and technology. Aside from the presentation of the annual MPA Lifetime Achievement Award, the Arnold Broido Award for Copyright Advocacy, and the Paul Revere Awards for Graphic Excellence, there were reports on the EU Copyright Directive, the USA’s Music Modernization Act, and a lively panel about digital distribution models for musical scores.J

Among the most moving segments of the afternoon was the MPA Administrative Director Brittain Ashford’s presentation of the 2019 MPA Lifetime Achievement Award to Iris Manus of Alfred Music during which she took out a coffee-stained chord handbook published by Alfred that has been a lifelong companion to her. In her equally emotional acceptance speech, Manus talked about her 60 year career at Alfred, transforming with her husband, the late Morty Manus, what was then a small business that published accordion music into a worldwide enterprise that currently has over 150,00 active titles in its catalog. The 2019 Arnold Broido Award for Copyright Advocacy was presented by John Shorney of Hope Music to Elwyn Raymer, President and CEO of the Church Music Publishers Association (CMPA) Action Fund, an initiative that was initiated in order to protect writers’ and publishers’ intellectual property rights and to rewrite the long outdated US copyright law. Raymer’s more than half century career in music publishing and production has encompassed serving as Minister of Music for churches in Arkansas and Texas to being President of Lorenz Creative Services, a leading publisher of scared music, and working with Bertelsmann Music Group to direct and manage BMG’s entry into Contemporary Christian Music.

Brittain Ashford and Iris Manus holding her MPA Lifetime Achievement Award

Brittain Ashford and Iris Manus (this photo and all other photos herein courtesy MPA)

A total of 33 sheet music publications received 2019 Paul Revere Awards for Graphic Excellence in a total of 12 award categories. Two of the publications, The Evolution of Fingerstyle Guitar by Laurence Juber (Hal Leonard LLC) and String Training, a collection of 80 reproducible worksheets for the beginning to intermediate orchestra classroom or private lesson studio by Kathryn Griesinger (Wingert-Jones Publications) received awards in two different categories. Among the other 2019 award-winning publications were the piano-vocal scores for two operas—David T. Little’s Soldier Songs and John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby—as well as Harbison’s For Violin Alone, a solo cello work co-composed by Gabriela Lena Frank and David Fetherolf, a composer who has long served as Frank’s music editor at G. Schirmer, two chamber music compositions by Pierre Jalbert, a previously unpublished newly discovered song by Kurt Weill, and works by Brian Balmages, Mohammed Fairouz, Nancy Galbraith, and Bright Sheng. The awards, which were established in 1964 in honor of the first music engraving in America (by the legendary American Revolution patriot Paul Revere), recognize publications which best exemplify high standards in music engraving, design, and utility.  For the 2019 awards, a total of 121 submissions were evaluated by a group of four judges. Kazue McGregor, Orchestra Librarian for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Ronald Whitaker, who served as Head Librarian for The Cleveland Orchestra from 1975 to 2008, served as the two engraving judges. Nim Ben-Reuven, a Brooklyn-based freelance art director, custom lettering artist, video producer, and installation designer, and Mallory Greg, an Art Director for MacMillan Children’s Publishing Group, served as the two graphics judges. Robert Sutherland, the Chief Librarian for The Metropolitan Opera, serves as the Coordinator of the Paul Revere Awards. (A complete list of the 2019 award winning publications is appended below.)

John Phelan and one of the slides in his PowerPoint presentation

John Phelan explains the ICMP

According to John Phelan of ICMP, the EU Copyright Directive was a way to counter the value gap for music due to an abuse of safe harbor.

John Phelan, the UK-based director general for the International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP), presented a report on the EU Copyright Directive and the potential worldwide impact of its implementation. According to Phelan, the directive, specifically Article 17 (ex art 13) which mandates upload filters, was a way to counter the value gap for music due to an abuse of safe harbor. Of top 500 YouTube videos, 486 are music-based and the average song on YT, a great many of which are uploaded without consent of the rights’ holders, is listened to more than 80,000 times by YT’s 1.9 billion monthly users, for which remuneration is negligible. Despite intense lobbying efforts mounted by YouTube’s parent company Google, the measures passed in the European parliament in late March.  After that, entertainment, media, copyright and trademark lawyer Corey Field gave a presentation on the newly Music Modernization Act, which was signed into law in the United States on October 2018. Among the notable aspects of the new law is that there is now protection for pre-1972 sound recordings, but no termination rights. He also noted that Karyn Temple was appointed to serve as the US Register of Copyrights on March 27, 2019 after serving in that role in an acting capacity without official title from October 21, 2016 to March 27, 2019, the longest time that the United States was without an official Register of Copyrights.

There was a lively panel about the digital distribution of musical scores moderated by Brittain Ashford. The four panelists were: Joseph Ciappina, who serves as a band director for Middletown Public Schools in New Jersey; Guy Barash, a composer and the founder of the digital consulting company, Dotted Eighth; Enrique López de Mesa, who serves as the managing director of nkoda, a digital sheet music subscription service that is currently licensed with 90 publishers; and Sara Griffin, the assistant principal librarian of the New York Philharmonic.

Enrique López de Mesa of nkoda said that it would be “foolish if we start pushing technology on people.”

Ashford began the discussion by pointing out than in data collected from the Major Orchestra Librarians Association (MOLA) in 2015, only 4 percent of their constituency do not get any requests for digital materials. Griffin was quick to counter, though, that there still is not a lot of “jumping to digital” at professional orchestras since the operations of these organizations are determined by lots of tradition. They “want digital as an option, but not the only thing they do.” They “send digital perusal scores to conductors who don’t want to carry stuff around. But when it comes to concert-time, 99.9% is paper.” López de Mesa concurred saying that while “26% of musicians want digital materials,” it would be “foolish if we start pushing technology on people.” However, Ciappina explained why digital materials are a better option for him.  “As a consumer, I don’t know instrumentation until very late. I go to e-print so I can get stuff immediately. I can’t wait to get materials in the mail. If I can’t view it, I’m less likely to buy it.” However, he also acknowledged that “in terms of tablets, etc., the school system is not quite there yet. We still look to paper because that’s what my 11-year-old can remember to bring to school.”

Joseph Ciappina, Guy Barash, Enrique López de Mesa, and Sara Griffin

Joseph Ciappina, Guy Barash, Enrique López de Mesa, and Sara Griffin

Obviously, one size does not fit all. Griffin pointed out that the New York Philharmonic plans 2 years in advance, which is “very different from a school,” and that performance materials “stay with us forever.” (Their rental parts are kept on “permanent loan,” as per agreements made with publishers.) But Barash believes that there “is a real need for a digital rental system” that is viable, though no one on the panel addressed Ashford’s question about whether there is any digital rental system that could ensure that materials distributed that way could only be accessed temporarily unless there was a prior agreement.

López de Mesa said that nkoda offer non-subscribers a free preview of scores which are stored and displayed as “secure file in our own proprietary format” which he claims is “unhackable.” However, for subscribers, “if you use the service, we know where you are. All our materials come with a warning that they can’t be performed without a rental agreement. We use technology to protect you.” He also said that through this service, nkoda is “also creating a new market for this material: students wanting to study these scores.”

Barash stated that there are currently “two big challenges.” The first is “political”—the conversation “should be more open to find solutions between publishers, orchestras, and tech companies.” The second involves “getting ready for the change to digital.” For publishers, this means having materials that are ready for digital conversion and having proper metadata for all their catalog. For orchestras, it’s about “getting them to learn rather than resist.” And for tech companies, it will require “more listening” to understand the needs of these two constituencies.

Before the 2019 MPA meeting was adjourned, Kathy Fernandes from JW Pepper gave a brief update on copyright education. The MPA has created a power point presentation which is accessible and downloadable from the MPA website so it can be used in schools and universities to give students a greater understanding of copyright and its benefits to society.


MPA annual meeting attendees examine the 2019 Paul Revere Award-winning scores

MPA annual meeting attendees examine the 2019 Paul Revere Award-winning scores

The 2019 Paul Revere Award winners

The 2019 Paul Revere Award winners are:

Cover Design Featuring Photography

First Prize
Soldier Songs piano/vocal score of the opera by David T. Little
Boosey & Hawkes, Inc./Hendon Music

Second Prize
String Training by Kathryn Griesinger
Wingert-Jones Publications

Third Prize
Sousa’s Marches – as He Performed Them by Keith Brion
Meredith Music Publications

Cover Design Featuring Graphic Elements

First Prize
Peaceful Piano Solos
Hal Leonard LLC

Second Prize TIE
Baroque and Classical Masterworks for Strings
Wingert-Jones Publications

More Masterworks for Strings
Wingert-Jones Publications

Third Prize
Canzona by Peter Mennin
Carl Fischer Music

Book Design in Popular Music

First Prize
Ragtime Fingerstyle Ukulele arrangements by Fred Sokolow
Hal Leonard LLC

Book Design in Concert & Educational Music

First Prize
Vaideology, basic music theory for guitar players, by Steve Vai
Hal Leonard LLC

Second Prize
String Training by Kathryn Griesinger
Wingert-Jones Publications

Third Prize
The Evolution of Fingerstyle Guitar by Laurence Juber
Hal Leonard LLC

Choral Music Notesetting

First Prize
Simple Settings for SAB Choirs, Volume 1
Hope Publishing Company

Second Prize
Christ the Lord is Risen Again by Donald McCullough
MorningStar Music Publishers

Third Prize
Revelation 19 by Jeffrey LaValley arranged for gospel chorus by Mark Hayes
Hope Publishing Company

Keyboard Music Notesetting

First Prize
Roman Sketches, op. 7 by Charles T. Griffes
Alfred Music

Second Prize
El Male Rachamim by Mohammed Fairouz
Peermusic Classical

Third Prize
Fantaisie-tableaux (Suite No. 1), op. 5, for two pianos, by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Alfred Music

Guitar Music Notesetting

First Prize
The Evolution of Fingerstyle Guitar by Laurence Juber
Hal Leonard LLC

Second Prize
The Great Arpeggios Book, 54 Pieces & 23 Exercises for Classical and Fingerstyle Guitar by John Hill
Hal Leonard LLC

Piano-Vocal Notesetting

First Prize
The Great Gatsby, piano/vocal score of the opera by John Harbison
Associated Music Publishers

Second Prize
“Lied vom blinden Mädchen” (“Song of the Blind Girl”) by Kurt Weill
European American Music Corp.

Third Prize
Foursquare Cathedral, a setting of five poems by Todd Boss for bass-baritone and piano, by Matt Boehler
ECS Music Company

Solos Notesetting, with accompaniment

First Prize
Introduction and Variations on “Trockne Blumen”, D. 802, by Franz Schubert (arranged for cello and piano)
International Music Company

Second Prize
Concerto in A Major, K. 622, for clarinet and piano, by W.A. Mozart (arranged by Charles Neidich)
Keiser Music

Third Prize TIE
Concerto, opus 8, for violin and piano, by Leo Portnoff
International Music Company

Zigeunerweisen, by Pablo de Sarasate (arranged for flute and piano by Jasmine Choi)
Theodore Presser Company

Solos Notesetting, without accompaniment

First Prize
Serenata, for solo cello, by Gabriela Lena Frank and David Fetherolf
Schirmer, Inc. and Associated Music Publishers

Second Prize
For Violin Alone by John Harbison
Associated Music Publishers

Third Prize
Piano Sonata No. 2 by Nancy Galbraith
Subito Music Corporation

Chamber Ensemble, Score and Parts Notesetting

First Prize
Wind Dances, for piano and wind quintet, by Pierre Jalbert
Schott Helicon Music Corp.

Second Prize
Light, Line, Shadow for flute/piccolo, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, double bass, and percussion, by Pierre Jalbert
Schott Helicon Music Corp.

Third Prize TIE
String Quartet No. 5 “The Miraculous” by Bright Sheng
Schirmer, Inc.

The Emperor and the Nightingale, for narrator, violin and piano, by Robert Mann
Peermusic Classical

Collated Music Notesetting

First Prize
Tower of Inspiration by Robert Thurston (wind band)
Excelcia Music Publishing, LLC

Second Prize
Pageant by Vincent Persichetti (wind band)
Carl Fischer Music

Third Prize
Dream Machine by Brian Balmages (wind band)
The FJH Music Company Inc.


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One thought on “Pondering New Digital Distribution Models and the Paul Revere Awards for Graphic Excellence—MPA 2019

  1. Larry Larson

    López de Mesa said that nkoda offer non-subscribers a free preview of scores which are stored and displayed as “secure file in our own proprietary format” which he claims is “unhackable.”

    That is cute.

    I’m afraid that is a literal invitation to hack. Someone tell him that nothing is unhackable. Ask the NSA.

    Reply

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