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For The Poster of The McNeil Chord System for Plectrum

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Sep 18, 2018 - 6:14:42 AM
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4055 posts since 9/21/2007

For the person who posted the scan of the "McNeil Chord System for Plectrum Banjo" that for some reason got locked here...

https://www.banjohangout.org/topic/346543

I am not going to question why this was locked but I presume it has to do with the copyright date being after 1923.

I just wanted to inform that poster that the Internet Archive is now legally hosting scans of books published from 1923 to 1941 based on a provision in the US Copyright law.

https://archive.org/

Read about it here...

https://blog.archive.org/2017/10/10/books-from-1923-to-1941-now-liberated/

So if you want, you can upload it to the Internet Archive and be well within the US copyright laws.  Or, (since I was able to nab a PDF before the topic was locked) let me know and I will be happy to upload it as I am a regular archivist contributing mountains of public domain scans of banjo related music and books.

https://archive.org/details/@joel_hooks

Even though I am not a plectrum banjoist, I have wanted to review and work through a copy of this system for some time now as it was recommended to me as a great way to learn accompaniment.  I think that adding this to the Internet Archive collection would be a great service to plectrum and regular banjoists.  So, thanks to the person who scanned this and please make it available on the Internet Archive.

Sep 18, 2018 - 9:26:44 AM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

21301 posts since 6/25/2005

Sep 18, 2018 - 10:10:32 AM

4055 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

The University of Rochester has posted the material here:

https://urresearch.rochester.edu/institutionalPublicationPublicView.action?institutionalItemId=31900

 


Thanks Bill, but that is for tenor banjo.  While constructed like the American 5 string banjo it was descended from the mandolin family of plucked lutes and is more mandolin than regular banjo.

The edition that was posted in the locked topic was for plectrum banjo specifically, directly descended from the 5 string "regular" banjo with the short octave string removed (or ignored).  All of the chord structures and progressions for plectrum are easily adapted to the 5 string.

Sep 18, 2018 - 1:01:22 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

21301 posts since 6/25/2005

Thanks Joel. Obviously I missed that. Back to square one.

Sep 18, 2018 - 9:07:49 PM

bcool

USA

5 posts since 1/12/2009

Joel, this is great news! I'm the person who posted the locked topic and I'd love to see it get set it free through the Internet Archive. Personally, I think it'd be more appropriate for you to upload it to your collection on there so it can be more effective by being located near the other banjo publications you've put up there. Please just post a link back here in a new topic once it's up. Thanks for your help!

Sep 19, 2018 - 5:58:49 AM

Omeboy

USA

1543 posts since 6/27/2013

Sep 19, 2018 - 6:28:23 AM

bcool

USA

5 posts since 1/12/2009

Thanks Omeboy: some good information there!

Sep 19, 2018 - 8:29:02 AM
likes this

4055 posts since 9/21/2007

Thanks Bryan! I'll get it posted tonight (or this weekend if I don't feel like getting on a computer at home during the week).

Last night before bed I read up on the provision that they are sighting and it is pretty interesting. One of the clauses is that the book can not be currently sold commercially and readily available.. This excludes people who are selling bootleg illegal copies. Only the owner of the copyright can legally sell copies of copyrighted works.

Additionally, new and revised currently availably editions which have significant editorial changes does not void the ability of a library to make the earlier edition available. 

What is strange is that I get the impression there are some people who don't want this circulated.  

The provision also takes into account post 1923 works that the copyright had been renewed.

To me this is a big deal.  There is a huge volume of knowledge and banjo related research materials that have been locked away, requiring expense and effort to find (if they can be found at all).  The more people that have convenient access to this stuff, the more it can be better understood.

I try to leave my opinions on copyright out as they could be political but I feel that the current (very) long copyright terms are counter to the intended purpose of protection and encouraging new works.  Keeping the printed collective knowledge of art and science of multiple generations boxed away and inaccessible is very damaging and repressive.

All of this comes from a small provision in the Mickey Mouse Protection Law/ Sonny Bono Act.  I am pretty sure if they knew that the interweb would become what it is today they would have not included this provision.

Sep 21, 2018 - 11:20:04 AM

46 posts since 1/21/2016

There's certainly people out there who try to sell PDFs of products that are out of copyright, or were never even in copywrite. Presumably, these people would not to see such material easily available for free on the web.

I even see publications for sale on Amazon that are not even hard to find for free on the web.

Sep 21, 2018 - 12:21:24 PM

4055 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Ag_econ_man

There's certainly people out there who try to sell PDFs of products that are out of copyright, or were never even in copywrite. Presumably, these people would not to see such material easily available for free on the web.

I even see publications for sale on Amazon that are not even hard to find for free on the web.


Yes, when I first saw people trying to sell my scans I had an initial reaction of anger or annoyance.  But then I thought about it reasonably. 

Public Domain means that the public owns the work.  So, just as I can scan and post online for anyone to have for free, someone can try and sell it too.

Since "slavish copies" do not qualify for new copyright, my scans are still public domain-- free for anyone to use however they want.  Even new copies of works in public domain can be scanned and copied as long as the new copies are only facsimiles of the original.  Examples of this include those Sears catalog reprints, Dover books, even the reprints of early banjo tutors from Tuckahoe music.  Only the new content added (such as new introductions or covers) are under copyright. 

In order to copyright public domain work one must make "substantial editorial changes."  A example of this would be if one were to illustrate the Night Before Christmas with all new art.  In that case only the new art would be in copyright.

If one were to take a scan and have it printed to sell, good for them.  I might even buy a copy if it is a clean edition and it would save me the trouble of printing and comb binding it.

Just the same, if one wants to sell the freely available PDFs on ebay or etsy more power to them.  The only people who would fall for the scam are those who don't know how to type a book title into google.  In a way those kind of deserve to fall for it.  I mean, who does not search google first for stuff?

All I can do is periodically remind people on message boards about the Internet Archive, and the Classic Banjo Ning website.

Sep 22, 2018 - 5:54:02 PM

4055 posts since 9/21/2007

Now available, legally and free (unless you want to donate to the Internet Archive for preserving the ephemeral internet).

archive.org/details/ChordSyste...rumBanjo1

Sep 22, 2018 - 7:10:48 PM

Omeboy

USA

1543 posts since 6/27/2013

Nice work, Joel.
I updated my blog on "Learning The Plectrum Banjo" and included the Internet Archive link to the McNeil Plectrum book. I gave you credit for the research behind this nice discovery. Thanks again.

.....@Joel Hooks

Sep 22, 2018 - 8:37:38 PM

bcool

USA

5 posts since 1/12/2009

Looks like someone found himself a printing and made some even better scans :) Thanks so much for this Joel!

Sep 23, 2018 - 1:22:57 AM

34 posts since 3/19/2018

Thanks

Joel a really nice scan.

I shall Also pass on your link to somebody i know. who knows what fruits it may bear...

regards

Jan

Sep 23, 2018 - 2:25:49 PM

Ancient

USA

168 posts since 7/6/2004

Thanks for sharing this NcNeil method for Plectrum banjo! I had given up on ever finding it!

Sep 23, 2018 - 5:42:29 PM

malarz

USA

250 posts since 1/5/2007

Omeboy , on your blog you write “the plectrum is know primarily for chord melody playing.” I’m new to tenor banjo and admit to my ignorance of its history. Do you have a link with the history and devlopment of both plectrum and tenor, which came “first,” and why now, it seems to me anyway, the tenor is used so much for chord melody? I play strictly rhythm accompaniment and I find I have my hands full (no pun!) with learning chord forms in their various inversions.

Thanks.

Ken

Sep 23, 2018 - 6:16:22 PM

Omeboy

USA

1543 posts since 6/27/2013

Hi Ken,
Go to https://www.banjohangout.org/blog/35705  for the history of the plectrum and tenor banjos.  If you want to hear some plectrum banjo music I recorded, check out my media page https://www.banjohangout.org/myhangout/music.asp?id=90039.

I hope you enjoy both.  Thanks.

Sep 23, 2018 - 6:23:45 PM

malarz

USA

250 posts since 1/5/2007

Thanks for that link. I’ll read it.

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