Composing with sounds

1 Terms and notes for teachers

Dear teachers,

By using this software your students will be able to learn how to compose their own music with sounds in an enjoyable manner. As teachers, we expect that you and your students will observe the copyrights to foreign music works and sound recordings.

Ideally, your students will create their own sounds themselves or record sounds with which they will compose entirely new pieces of music. Students are not permitted to copy protected sounds or music files or recordings of public [Note 1] concerts, radio broadcasts or the like. Even individual sounds should not be copied from a recording without the consent of the rights holders.

But even if your students have produced and/or recorded the sounds themselves, they should, not only for artistic but also for legal reasons, make sure that they do not plagiarise any melodies or the like, but instead compose their own material. They may, however, be inspired by others’ work. A newly composed melody (or other musical element) always demonstrates the ability to create an individual signature that can form the basis of an inspiring work. For example, when working with note-based music, the use of existent sequences of more than 4 to 5 tones should be avoided, especially when the rhythm is maintained.

(We do advise you, whenever possible, to offer your students relevant illustrative material whereby you can teach them the basics of composition. The project team is offering teachers’ packs as part of the EARS 2 initiative in order to help you with regard to this exciting part of the discovery of sound-based musical creation.)

If the members of the software team legitimately ask you to delete individual sound templates or composed works, you promise  to remove them immediately.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!

Yours sincerely,

The Composing with Sounds project development team

2 Terms and conditions for students

Using the software “Compose with Sounds” you can compose your own music with sounds. (as opposed to notes in traditional forms of music). When engaging in this form of creativity, as is the case in all others, you must not violate relevant authors’ rights.

That means, first, that you should normally only use only notes and sounds material that you yourself have recorded or generated yourself. To use sounds or sounds from another person’s piece of music is not only less creative than recording your own sounds, but often forbidden, unless you have previously asked the producers for permission. Even the smallest excerpts from musical pieces, such as a single tone or sound, may not be used without permission.

This means, for example, that you must not include others’ melodies in your composition. Even a few notes of a melody can be critical, especially if you also include the original rhythm (or other musical elements)

The pieces you composed are your own property. But you are able to allow us to make your music available on the Internet. You therefore grant us a royalty-free right to place your music on the site for others to hear. This means that you retain all rights to your piece of music and can thus continue to use it for every conceivable purpose.

You promise that you, if you take notes or sounds from other musical work, request and receive permission from the relevant author(s) and make these permissions available online.

Thank you for your understanding!

3 Information regarding the host provider/institution

As the provider of the software “Compose with Sounds” and as one who collects, stores and makes accessible users’ recorded sounds and composed works, we will avoid copyright risks/infringement related to use of the software ” Compose with Sounds “created by teachers and students at all costs.

With this in mind, the risks then drop significantly if the data is stored on our servers. Sounds and music that are uploaded (most remain on the schools’ own severs) are not perceived as our own collection or compilation, but instead others’ original sounds/works. We must not create the impression that we have been involved in the creation of the sounds/music even as administrators. Rather, it should be made very clear that these are sounds and pieces from students of a particular school (and, again, most sounds created from a school will only be available to students of this school) or individual (older) users. One might call this internal content. It is only when we move sounds/works to the sounds and music pages that this content also becomes part of the project at which point we obviously have to fully adhere to copyright including all rights-related checks. Any material deemed problematic will be deleted from the site.

The software Compose with Sounds and its host website have been created as part of an EU Culture programme-funded project, Composing with Sounds which aimed at lowering the threshold for new composers to be able to discover and make sound-based music.  This resource and its supporting EARS 2 pedagogical site are available for use free of charge. Please note, however, that the developers of the project cannot be held responsible for misuse of the software or any problems such activity might cause.