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Music Open Source

New Musopen Campaign Wants To "Set Chopin Free" 142

Posted by timothy
from the don't-lose-your-composer-just-give-us-the-money dept.
Eloquence writes "Three years ago, Musopen raised nearly $70,000 to create public domain recordings of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Schubert, and others. Now they're running a new campaign with a simple but ambitious objective: 'To preserve indefinitely and without question everything Chopin created. To release his music for free, both in 1080p video and 24 bit 192kHz audio. This is roughly 245 pieces.'" Adds project organizer aarondunn: "His music will be made available via an API powered by Musopen so anyone can come up with ways to explore and present Chopin's life."
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New Musopen Campaign Wants To "Set Chopin Free"

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  • by Freshly Exhumed (105597) on Friday September 06, 2013 @08:00PM (#44780369) Homepage

    They found an old trunk belonging to George Sand and in it were several Blu-ray disks she made of Chopin performing his career works. Awesome find!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aarondunn (2710233)
      Actually we did, now you know what was in the safe: http://www.dailydot.com/society/reddit-whatsinthisthing-locked-safe-new-zealand/ [dailydot.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Those of us who are able infer that they are recordings of top artists performing Chopin's works. Those of us with nothing better to do post comments like yours. Those of us who are have nothing better to do and are asleep at the switch mod up comments like yours.

      • Those of us who are able infer that they are recordings of top artists performing Chopin's works. Those of us with nothing better to do post comments like yours. Those of us who are have nothing better to do and are asleep at the switch mod up comments like yours.

        And those with no clue of history post anonymous comments like yours. You could've googled George Sand, but I assume you had something better to do.

        Still, a bunch of ignorant AC apologists will probably mod me down in your defense. Why do I even bother?

        • He/She obviously does not know about the Slashdot tradition that at least one person must take the summary of each article either extremely literally or stupendously wrong, whether through stupidity or satire. The George Sand reference was a total give-away that it is satire, for those who are humourously impaired.

        • by ae1294 (1547521)

          Those of us who are able infer that they are recordings of top artists performing Chopin's works. Those of us with nothing better to do post comments like yours. Those of us who are have nothing better to do and are asleep at the switch mod up comments like yours.

          And those with no clue of history post anonymous comments like yours. You could've googled George Sand, but I assume you had something better to do.

          Still, a bunch of ignorant AC apologists will probably mod me down in your defense. Why do I even bother?

          He can't because the NSA would find out he didn't know and would mock him in their mom's very large basement...

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      George and Frederic did performing of another kind together, but would they want a recording of it? I don't think Freddy would go for that

  • by issicus (2031176) on Friday September 06, 2013 @08:26PM (#44780523)
    and not just music.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I just backed my first Kickstarter because of this. Sounds like a really good idea. I've often thought that music wasn't really a good idea for a Kickstarter, because most musicians already have their own equipment, and all it really takes to record an album is time. I'm much more interested in Kickstarters for physical objects, but I've been turned away by the thought of losing my money if they didn't deliver, and most physical items are usually not that cheap. Most interesting ones have been over $100.
      • The nice thing about this project is that it's the second in a row - they already had one, and they delivered on it (I was one of the backers on that, and got my t-shirt and DVD). That one was much more complicated because the guy basically just had an idea, and had to jump through a lot of hoops to actually see it implemented... it was a fascinating read as he reported on his progress, though.

        But this time around, he already has experience with this kind of thing, the kinks are ironed out, and most importa

  • No need to go crazy about lossy compression. I may just have to donate to this one.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      I'm wondering why video? 18th century empty-v?

      And yes, especially Black Keys. Which IIRC isn't the tune's real name.

  • More ambitious (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Megahard (1053072) on Friday September 06, 2013 @08:33PM (#44780557)

    would be J.S.Bach. Over 1000 works.

    • Just about any other composer would be very challenging, a mixture of many more ensemble types, many more hours of music. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, would be easier but still very hard.
    • Go to http://www.blockmrecords.org/bach/ [blockmrecords.org] for the complete Bach organ works.
      • Re:More ambitious (Score:5, Informative)

        by aarondunn (2710233) on Friday September 06, 2013 @08:52PM (#44780663)
        Sadly copyrighted, we've asked the performer to release them. No luck so far.
        • Sadly copyrighted, we've asked the performer to release them. No luck so far.

          What's the problem with this? It's like getting a dozen CDs as a birthday present - do you complain that they are copyrighted?

          • If you're a person that wants to share or use the music in any way in addition to listening to them, yes definitely. It's also a way for people unfamiliar with music to browse and explore Chopin's music for free. Otherwise you're right.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You may be interested in this:

      http://www.opengoldbergvariations.org/

      Kimiko Ishizaka gives a wonderful interpretation (However, Keith Jarret's interpretation is still one of the finest harpsichord interpretations of this work.) especially the Aria. These recordings bring a stunning realism to these works.

    • They want to start with something more manageable first, and then move over to a yearly release schedule, taking on more ambitious projects as the audience and the donations grow.

  • by aarondunn (2710233) on Friday September 06, 2013 @08:38PM (#44780601)
    Thanks for all the comments and for those that have backed us. I'll be here if anyone has any questions/comments they'd like answered. -Aaron
    • by aarondunn (2710233) on Friday September 06, 2013 @08:40PM (#44780615)
      I should add, /. was absolutely essential to the success of our first Kickstarter. I should release some info on our backers from the first time around, it's pretty interesting data. Suffice to say Slashdot referrals made up 30% of the total. So I guess I'm saying I'm counting on you :)
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Thanks for all the comments and for those that have backed us. I'll be here if anyone has any questions/comments they'd like answered. -Aaron

      Your accolades are well deserved and it's you who deserve our thanks, not the other way around.

      The only question I have is, why isn't your comment nodded to +5? Come on, mods!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      For the previous project you did I had some complaints regarding the delivery and so here are some suggestions:

      1. FLAC has been pretty much the standard lossless format and I don't see a good reason to use something else.
      2. Keep it all in the same format (bit depth and sample rate). Last time some files were 16bit, some 24bit and whatnot. Same with the tags.
      3. When you're making a torrent, don't put the audio files in one zip file, it makes no sense and it's very annoying.

    • Having written extensively [briandonohue.org] on this perennially misunderstood yet profoundly influential genius, I can only add a vote of support along with a recommendation that the public also be given some teaching on the enduring meaning and influence of this man's music. For this is a composer who can be located in history but also rediscovered in contemporary culture. Beethoven and Chopin are the first modernists of the keyboard: as a young man I constantly heard Chopin's voice and his revolutionary technical inventi
    • by santax (1541065)
      Hi Aaron, First: thanks for doing this. As a musician I can greatly appreciate the effort put into this. It's important those great works are freely available. However, when I look at the 70K I wonder how you do it. Basing my knowledge of the money part of getting a good orchestra to record your music on Frank Zappa's book it would have at least set you back 300K ten years ago. For 1 song. That is without any rehearsals that will easily quadrupple the bill for the orchestra. How do you manage to record thi
      • Excellent questions. The main reason is that many of these performers are doing this for free. They love the idea, or they wouldn't have even responded to my emails. Others are doing this because they just want Musopen to cover the cost of a professional recording studio, so they have a top-notch portfolio. So most of the funds from this will be covering the concerti and recording studio costs, more than the "labor." Aaron
  • One of my favorites: Valse Brillante in A Minor [youtube.com].
  • by dmomo (256005) on Friday September 06, 2013 @08:54PM (#44780677) Homepage

    I hope they don't forget anything from their Chopin list.

  • It's called "mp3". An API for music isn't a thing.

    • Re:API? (Score:5, Informative)

      by aarondunn (2710233) on Friday September 06, 2013 @09:19PM (#44780787)
      API for Chopin actually. And it will be if we make it :) It'll be structured data: listing of all his music with composition dates links from each recording to his sheet music list of major events in his life wikipedia and liner notes about each piece geographical information related to the music or events in his life etc. So people can try to do various things, node map, timelines. We have some of our own ideas we'd like to try.
  • I freely downloaded a set of Bach organ works that were donated to the public domain, and they're a treasured part of my extensive collection. It's unfortunate in a sense that top grade recording interests such as the Vienna Philharmonic will endure a reduction of their royalties, but the main repertoire of classical music has been out of copyright in some cases for centuries, and I applaud this direction.

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @01:20AM (#44781769) Journal
    Fuck - just gimme 320kbps MP3 and I'll be happy....
    • by rubycodez (864176)

      Once freely released as high quality and lossless encoded, it can be converted and distrubuted in any lesser quality form.

    • by kesuki (321456)

      but it is a lossy compression. loss free compression like flac is a way to ensure preservation of audio, and there is a loss less video codec too http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_codecs [wikipedia.org] lossy compression is for non archival usage. lossless is best for archiving, since easy copy methods work and don't degrade the copy. obviously not everyone is trying to be the last surviving holder of a work of music. though if you are flac is great. the problem is not as well known as it should be. android phones for e

  • My problem is that I tend to not be so interested in the heavyweights, I much prefer lesser known composers, such as Chopins contemporary, Karol Szymanowski.

    In any case, Chopin composed numerous highly patriotic songs (as in music which is sung) as well as folk songs which aren't explored much, and devilishly hard to get good recordings of. Musically good versions of those should be worth it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Me too. I liked Chopin before he was cool.

  • "To preserve indefinitely and without question everything Chopin created."

    This indefinite preservation technology is actually known as a musical score. It's the technology Chopin used, and it's a pretty good preservation system, with infinitely high resolution, flexibility and scalability. Admittedly it's more ambitious but it's ultimately a more future-proof project to teach music literacy ... and it has a far simpler interface that's been out of beta for a couple of centuries.

    Dennis
    http://maltedmedia.com [maltedmedia.com]

    • infinitely high resolution

      Hah! Far from it. All means of recording are lossy, but scores are far more lossy than even the simplest recording.

      This is usually justified by claiming that what's not in the score is up to the performer's discretion. OK, fair enough, but that puts you at the mercy of your notation system - if you care about something hard to represent in notation, or don't care about something that is mandatory in the notation, you're out of luck. (Western classical music is terribly shaped by

      • by Kalvos (137750)

        But resolution -- thanks for responding, by the way -- is fixed in history and geography. That makes the resolution of Chopin infinitely high, as long as you have the information.

        As far as standard, it's a symbolic notation and each symbol has a definition attached in its context. As for incompatible extensions? Oh, so not true. A defined extension in the context of composer, geography, and time (as well as, in the past 75 years, by definition from the composer) makes the necessary portion reproducible. Wh

        • That makes the resolution of Chopin infinitely high, as long as you have the information.

          But that is a cop-out. The extra information you need to get fidelity (comparable to a recording) is not contained in the score, it may only be imperfectly extracted from history and geography. As time passes, more and more information you could potentially extract from geography and history is lost forever.

          What is to be reproduced is specific, and ambiguity is a deliberate part of the system.

          I argue that it is often no

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