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Please kill this page with fire

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:18 am
by bicinium,_Chinese)

That piece is not a traditional melody set to the words of a Tang Dynasty-era poem. It was composed by Liu Raozhang [柳尧章] (1905-1996) for an orchestra of traditional instruments with a solo Pipa (琵琶, balloon-shaped lute). The solo part was based on an existing traditional melody called Xunyang Ye Yue [浔阳夜月], which was indeed inspired by (but not set to the words of) the poem. That original melody now lives on pretty much exclusively through the newer piece and transcriptions thereof (notably Guzheng); it seems that it is hardly ever referred to by its original name anymore. It's possible that the solo part by itself is PD, but given that this is hard to determine, that so much information on the page is fundamentally wrong, and that the copyright of the edition I uploaded is problematic, I urge for the immediate deletion of the page.

Back then, before I had a brain, I found that file online and uploaded it. The copyright reviewer at the time must've mistaken me for the editor. I'm maintaining a list of authors of music featuring Chinese instruments here, which I'd like to turn into a project someday, but in the meantime, I just can't tolerate that page anymore, spreading its nonsense. My source for this post is here; it's not at all ideal, but better than mainstream Chinese art culture, which would rather wax lyrical over 'ancient culture' and 'traditional music' than establishing the facts or crediting the (sometimes still living) authors.

Thank you and sorry

Re: Please kill this page with fire

Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:09 am
by Sallen112
Are you talking about the whole work itself mis-attributed or one of the files?

Re: Please kill this page with fire

Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:36 pm
by bicinium
Sallen112 wrote:Are you talking about the whole work itself mis-attributed or one of the files?

The whole work, as I've found out, is by a composer whose works are still under copyright (Liu Raozhang, 1905-1996). There is a slight possibility that the melody featured on the page is actually PD, if the following is true:
  1. There was the original, traditional melody, which is PD, and had a different title
  2. Liu Raozhang incorporated that melody in his solo piece for Pipa and orchestra
  3. When you extract the main melody from the newer piece (such as for an exercise book, which I think is what my file is actually from), the melody is basically still the same as the PD one
  4. Therefore, there isn't any original material by Liu Raozhang and the melody is PD (but my file still may not be, due to the publisher's rights)
However, I don't think that's a tenable assumption to make, because of this:
  1. I don't think the original PD melody was ever published in a notated form, and was instead passed down aurally
  2. On the other hand, Liu Raozhang's non-PD piece has been recorded and published, and enjoys massive popularity, pretty much displacing the old melody's name with the title of his own piece
  3. The non-PD work has therefore probably had considerable effect on how the original melody is remembered and passed down
  4. Hence, any instance of the 'original melody' by itself nowadays is probably derived from the non-PD work and cannot be assumed to be PD

The title of Liu Raozhang's piece is "Chun Jiang Hua Yue Ye"; I think no page should be allowed to have this title in any case, since it refers to the non-PD work. If someone can confirm the existence of a publication of the original melody in any form (whether staff notation, jianpu or tablature, for whatever instrument) from before the publication of Chun Jiang Hua Yue Ye in the 1920s (I think), then we can allow a page for that melody, but only under its original name (Xunyang Ye Yue).

In short, though, I don't think that kind of scholarship is our job, so I say just nuke it all. It's a shame about that other user who submitted the mandolin version, but in the meantime, there's this other beautiful tune that is almost as popular and PD in Canada (as well as China), authored by Lou Shuhua (1907-1952). Similar story here; some sources say he only reinterpreted an existing melody that is native to *INSERT REGION HERE* and inspired by a poem from the Tang Dynasty, but since he actually published it, it should be assumed that any rendition is derived from him.

I hope I didn't go over the top with my lists and rants, but this is what we're up against if we want to tackle Chinese classical pieces (which I hope we can do more of in the future).

Re: Please kill this page with fire

Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:36 pm
by Sallen112
I am going to move this discussion to the "Copyright Related" discussion forum as it would be more relevant their than here.

Re: Please kill this page with fire

Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:21 am
by Carolus
This has now been blocked until further notice.