Category Archives: Creative Commons BY-SA

Spirit rappings

Spirit Rappings (title page)

August 20, 1852, Wednesday

Page 2 of the New York Times, 695 words

Mr. ORVILLE HATCH, of Franklin, Conn., has become insane, he having devoted considerable attention to the subject of Spirit Rappings. Mr. HATCH is a farmer, and has been instrumental in introducing many important improvements in agriculture into the town in which he resides.

Madame Pamita, whose performances involve both spiritualism and really old American music, sent me a pointer to sheet music for an 1854 tune called “Spirit Rappings”, presumably because it’s a great number for Halloween. This post is my version of it.

Since I did a vocal part for once, the mix has the guitar and vocal parts hard panned to left and right so you can pull out the singing and do karaoke.

This recording is under a Creative Commons ShareAlike-Attribution 2.0 license. See also my boilerplate copyright statement.

Direct links:

Spirit Rappings (mp3)

Spirit Rappings (vorbis)

William Litten song

Cover of 'William Litten's Fiddle Tunes'

This post is a recording of a fast and furious guitar performance of a fiddle tune called “Kiss My Lady” which was transcribed in 1800 (or so) by a ship’s musician named William Litten.


Musically I wanted something energetic and raw. I didn’t care about mistakes except if they were bad enough to really mar the listening. The final performance definitely has mistakes, and both my dogs got into the action by barking.It usually takes me a lot of takes to get something with the right feel and no fatal mistakes. In this case I did a few takes a day for a few days before I got one I liked.

I don’t have sheet music for this because I got it from a book which is not online. Here’s the story.Litten was employed as a ship’s musician, and along the way he wrote down a lot of music. I think that this was more like a notebook to aid his memory than a book for the public. His manuscript was brought home to Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts, by a local guy named Allen Coffin. The Martha’s Vineyard economy was based on fishing, sailing, etc, until it became a touristy beach destination in the late 20th century, and Coffin was probably on the ship with Litten. The manuscript ended up in the library of the historical society in Edgartown, the biggest town on the island.

In the 1970s a musicologist named Gail Huntington copied it into more readable notation, made some corrections and other tidying up, cross-referenced the songs in contemporaneous publications, and eventually published it. Her publication is copyright 1977 by Hines Point Publishers, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts 02568. This was either self-publishing or a very small-time operation.

Here’s a description of the situation by somebody else familiar with the book:

William Litten was a ship’s fiddler in Royal Navy in the first years of the nineteenth century. What makes Litten remarkable amongst his peers was his ability to transcribe music. In the years 1800 to 1802 he was aboard the HMS Gorgon, leaving England in May 1800, arriving in China in February 1801 and passing through St Helena in 1802. During the voyage he wrote down much of his repertoire, thus giving us a unique snapshot of the musical and, in particular, the fiddle repertoire of his time. The original and now unprocurable book was assembled and published in 1977. Extensive searches failed to find the publishers. The book was reproduced from a copy on interlibrary loan from New Mexico for the purposes of study at a a workshop at the National Folk Festival in Canberra in 2006. A few copies remain and are offered here.

The copyright situation of the sheet music is messy. Huntington’s substantive contributions to the original entitle her to a copyright on her contributions. However figuring out what is a copyrighted addition and what is a public domain part of the original is totally up in the air. Since she and her publisher seem to have disappeared, this has turned into an orphaned work. The good news is that a public domain performance of the underlying composition and arrangement is completely legal as far as I can tell.

My own copyrights in these recordings are released under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license per my boilerplate licensing statement.


Direct audio file links

These are the real keepers:

Kiss My Lady sept 23 2007 (mp3)

Kiss My Lady sept 23 2007 (vorbis)

These are scratch recordings that I figured might be handy for sampling or comparison:

Kiss My Lady sept 20 2007 (mp3)

Kiss My Lady sept 20 2007 (vorbis)

Kiss My Lady sept 21 2007 (mp3)

Kiss My Lady sept 21 2007 (vorbis)

Ella Waltz 06032007

This post is a recording of the composition Ella Waltz by D.E. Jannon, which was published in 1854.

MP3: Lucas Gonze — Ella Waltz

Ogg Vorbis: Lucas Gonze — Ella Waltz

It is the third of a set of three waltzes by D.E. Jannon. I have also blogged recordings of Amy Waltz and Carrie Waltz. I don’t consider the series finished because I want to redo the Amy one, but who knows whether I’ll really come up with a better version in the end. It takes a ton of practice and a lot of trial and error with the arrangement to make one of these recordings, and I have other tunes that I want to move on to.

As I was learning the 3 waltzes I made up a back story for them. In my imagination they are named after D.E. Jannon’s three daughters. They are ordered from oldest to youngest. Amy is a teenager, Ella is a little kid, Carrie is in-between. Amy is going through a phase where she is hustling all the time and in a hurry to get away from her parents. Ella has been falling down, dropping things, running into stuff, and generally being accident prone. Carrie is moderate in all things.

The original writing on this tune had dead spots, places where the writing was thin or weak and needed fixing, so I rewrote many of the parts. My version isn’t as simple as the original, which is a loss, but it sounds better.

By the way, I got the name of this tune slightly wrong while I was working, and even though I corrected it in the end some of the metadata and file names are wrong. Right: Ella. Wrong: Emma.

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=mussm&fileName=sm2/sm1854/732000/732150/mussm732150.db&recNum=3&itemLink=D?mussm:2:./temp/~ammem_7r3O::&linkText=0

These recordings are released under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license per my boilerplate licensing statement.

Amy Waltz

Amy Waltz

This post is a short, jittery, very loose, and slightly overdriven acoustic guitar version of a tune called “Anna Waltz” which was composed by a guy named D.E. Jannon and published in 1854. I learned it from sheet music at the Library of Congress web site.

MP3: Lucas Gonze — Amy Waltz (1:36)

This recording is under a Creative Commons BY-SA license per my standard license statement.

See also Carrie Waltz.

Carrie Waltz

This post is one of my acoustic guitar recordings. It is a tune called “Carrie Waltz” which was composed by a guy named D.E. Jannon and published in 1854. I learned it from sheet music at the Library of Congress web site.

Lucas Gonze — Carrie Waltz

I’m only publishing an MP3, not an Ogg anything or a lossless version or the Audacity original. And I didn’t pay any attention to the tagging process, so it might or might not have reasonable metadata and proper Creative Commons licensing in the ID3 tags. It takes forever to get all these details right and I want to see how it feels to focus on the tunes and not worry about the computer maintenance.

This recording is under a Creative Commons BY-SA license per my standard license statement.

Here’s the sheet music original that I worked from:

Carrie Waltz sheet music

Crazy_Arms_Lucas_CC_SA

This is an experiment I’m doing with Jay Dedman. He made the video, I made the music.

Jay Dedman hooked up my 2 spirit of gods music with his crazy arms videoblog entry. In the posting that started the thread, he had a licensing problem with music:

After posting my video today for Videoblogging Week 2007, commenters pointed out that I used a commercial song that I had no rights to use. Most people would be like ‘who cares?’..but in this case, it’s important. We just had a big event this past Saturday where Jon and Colette spoke about Creative Commons. If we videobloggers want respect from commercial companies (ie dont steal our stuff!)…we must respect existing copyright law. This means don’t use commercial music without permission.

time to get off the commercial media nipple once and for all.

Soundtracks for videoblogs are an ideal application of blog music. In both cases the media has to be fast, cheap, conversational and copyleft. This is an instance of remixing outside of the mashup genre, and an instance of redistribution outside of filesharing.

It’s also a case where the new medium shows how it is different in substance from the old one.

Blogging a soundtrack for a blogged video is about the same kind of thing as blogging a text comment on somebody else’s textual blog entry by a third party, except that the form of the conversation crosses boundaries from one art to another.

Catpower was the music provider in Jay’s first video, but Catpower was never involved in the thread. Since conversation is about who makes a conversational gestures as much as what they say, the stars from the old medium of offline audio need to make a deliberate effort to participate if they want to be part of the new medium.


This video was originally shared on blip.tv by jaydedman with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. (Donate)

2 spirit of gods

This is two guitar instrumental versions of the Mormon hymn “Spirit of God.” Neither has much of a godly spirit to it. I like them for the phrasing.

For more information on this hymn see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spirit_of_God_Like_a_Fire_Is_Burning. I learned the tune from sheet music at Mutopia. I blogged a previous version of it on 12/3/2006. These are licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 per my standard license on my own music.

Version one here is abrupt and tricky:


feb 6 2007 spirit of god version 2 edit 2 (mp3)

feb 6 2007 spirit of god version 2 edit 2 (ogg)

Version two is woodsy and sweet:


spirit of god february 4 2007 (mp3)

spirit of god february 4 2007 (ogg)


Postscript: creating this blog entry was a lot of work, much more than it should have been, because of the relatively poor technical infrastructure for blog musicians and because of my blog host’s industry-lagging support for multimedia. Despite the lavish over-investment in web video in recent years, audio is still in a basically broken state.

Monday 856 AM

Monday 856 AM (ogg)

Monday 856 AM (mp3)

This post is a recording of my own music. The song is an instrumental on acoustic guitar. It is one track played live with no overdubs or edits.

The tune is entitled “Monday 856 AM.” I wrote and recorded it before work on 3/19.

The song, including both the composition and the sound recording, is licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA. The issue of how CC licensing applies to compositions is murky at best, which is why I am stating outright that I have the rights to the composition and I grant others the right to post their own performances of it without paying royalties, given that their own sound recording is under the same license.

I used the 1 Pixel Out player rather than an XSPF player because there is a WordPress plugin on my ISP for the 1 Pixel Out player.