I get dusted via listserv
Music directors know not to bootleg published arrangements. We buy one copy of a given piece, $2-$2.50 a pop, for each member of the group, plus a few copies for dunderheads who lose their music, you know who you are.
My question to the choral music listserv was: after we own music, can we tweak it? May we simplify something if it's too hard? Must we really force our sopranos out to screech out high A at the rousing conclusion?
Publishers and composers on the list insisted nothing be changed -- on fear of hellfire or lawsuit -- or choral music police storming the synagogue -- and huffed about the perfection of their publications as-is. Conductors on the list pointed out that most of us work with cheerful unpaid volunteers of varying ability and that we all do the best we can.
The nay-sayers shoot themselves in the foot. There's plenty of music in the public domain which we can arrange/abuse to our hearts' content. And then xerox for 6 cents a pop.
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