Copyright Conundrums for Collaborators

Illustrated cartoon of the "Jack and Jill" nursery rhyme including the text: "Jack and Jill went up the hilll / to fetch a pail of water. / Jack fell down and broke his crown / And Jill fell tumbling after."

Here’s a situation that’s commonly misunderstood among creative collaborators: Jack and Jill agree to write a song together. They call it “Tumblin’ Down the Hill.” Jack writes the music and Jill writes the lyrics. Who owns what?

Sarah Kirkland Snider: The Full 360

Sarah Kirkland Snider

In advance of the release of her second full-length album Unremembered, Sarah Kirkland Snider opens up about integrating disparate influences, embracing deeply emotional content, and the process of developing her signature works.

Music After Life: Guiding Lights


One side of the survivability equation is the caution-to-the-wind embrace of a personal vision, fearless of the consequences, no matter how impractical. The other side thinks outside of the individual and looks at the times.

Sonic Uprising: Songs for Freddie Gray

Baltimore Uprising

Creative work in a time and place of crisis is essential to a community coping with tragedy and can become a necessary and powerful agent of change. If we truly believe that black lives matter, it’s essential that we commit to hearing what their voices have to say.

When Do I Get to Stop Exposing Myself?

Photo of pages of theatrical script.

Some companies advertise the pieces we write for free as new commissions. I vote for an immediate end to this practice. By all means, call it a world premiere by the Next Important Composer of Our Time. Phrase it however you need to make it sound sexy and get butts in seats, but it is not a commission. It is unpaid labor from which others stand to gain.

Music After Life: Twists of Fate

"Morton Feldman 1976" by Rob Bogaerts Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 nl.

The reputations of certain composers seem to be actually growing with time, even though conventional wisdom earlier on would have predicted just the opposite. They present one possible answer to the question of how music becomes “survivable.”

NewMusicBox LIVE! Presents Joan Tower

Joan Tower

To conclude our first NewMusicBox LIVE! event, we invited Joan Tower to share her some of her acerbic wit and wisdom with us. Joining her to perform two of her dazzling virtuoso solo compositions were rising star violinist Bella Hristova and the iconic new music pianist Ursula Oppens.

Mister, Make Me a…Song?

Photo of a songwriter's workspace. A digital keyboard synthesizer on a tripod positioned by a window perpendicular to a desk; on the desk is a notebook, laptop, headphones, and glass of water.

Songs written for the stage are no longer the currency of mainstream musical engagement, yet “song” has become the default term for just about any piece of music under the sun. Is the word still meaningful to creators of new musical theater?

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