[Smt-talk] Schenker public domain?

Slottow, Stephen Stephen.Slottow at unt.edu
Sat Dec 1 20:09:22 PST 2012

Free Composition is currently published by Pendragon Press.

Stephen Slottow
Associate Professor of Music
College of Music
University of North Texas

From: Nicolas Meeùs <nicolas.meeus at paris-sorbonne.fr<mailto:nicolas.meeus at paris-sorbonne.fr>>
Date: Saturday, December 1, 2012 4:36 PM
To: smt-talk <smt-talk at societymusictheory.org<mailto:smt-talk at societymusictheory.org>>
Subject: [Smt-talk] Schenker public domain?

Heinrich Schenker died in 1935, almost 78 years ago. This, unless I am mistaken, places his writings in the public domain in all world countries. Some of his major works are available free on Internet (mainly on http://archive.org): Ein Beitrag zur Ornamentik, Harmonielehere, Kontrapunkt vols. 1 and 2, and Beethovens neunte Symphonie.

Free Composition is out of print since a long time and Der freie Satz remains under copyright in its second edition because of Oswald Jonas' editorial work. I wonder, however, why the first edition of Der freie Satz has not been made available on Internet. This book is extremely rare in Europe (one copy is in the catalogue of the Bavarian State Library, where it appeared only recently; this is the only copy I have been able to locate in Europe), while it does not seem uncommon in the United States.

I wonder why it has not been made available on archive.org or in some other similar project. Does anyone know if the book really is public domain now? If not, why? And if it is, why has it not been made available?

Nicolas Meeùs
Université Paris-Sorbonne

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