Where can I get a copy of that tune?
First baby step:
Internet archive – an archive of 78 rpm recordings considered to be in the public domain. (Note .. the AIFD database is forthcoming).
About: December, 2013: Over the years AIFD has built a music collection from hundreds of sources, going back to the days of 78 rpm records. AIFD understands the benefit of allowing music to be available to other groups as well as to individual dancers eager to practice dances outside of Saturday night dancing. But behind any discussion of sharing music are the legal concerns of distributing music, let alone the ethical concern of ensuring artists are compensated for their work.
For folk dance groups in particular, the issues are complicated by the fact that for many recordings information about the original artists are completely lost, and there is no way to determine if there is a copyright for the music and, if so, who it belongs to.
To navigate a way to make more music available outside of Saturday night dancing, AIFD has embarked on a project to make information available about music it uses on Saturday nights. The goal of this project is to create a database of tunes in AIFD’s library that will include:
- Identify a source for the tune. In some cases this could be information about the artist and where to purchase the tune. In other cases it could be another organization that has has determined the recording is part of the public domain and has made it available for download;
- Flag which tunes are done regularly at Saturday night dancing (â€œcoreâ€ dances) and which versions are usually done (“preferred” versions);
- Identify the corresponding dance if it is not clear in the name of the tune;
- Be searchable and downloadable.
The intent is not for AIFD to actually distribute tunes from its library, but to point to sources of tunes that it uses.
This is a long term “work in process” which we hope will provide incremental benefit at each stage.