Creative Consciousness

Before the invention of Gutenberg, all works were copied by hand. On the first page of each copy, the name of the composer was included with the phrase "Author". Heinrich Isaac (b. 1450) wrote his own name on the first page of his compositions. Composers who follow the same path can be given Josquin Desprez or Guillaume Dufay.

If we look at the working records of the palaces in the 15th century, it is seen that the composer and the performer were considered as two different professions. Composer Heinrich Isaac, who was paid a salary with the contract he signed with Emperor Maximilian on April 3, 1497, became one of the names of this culture.

Another way for the composer to be recognized commercially is through the bond he will establish with the aristocracy. The late Renaissance composer Orlande de Lassus is an example of this category. Such appointments by royalty or the aristocracy could be seen as the primary source of income for artists until the end of the French Revolution.

Famous composer Haydn worked with the Esterhazys for more than 30 years, and continued as an independent composer in the 1790s. Names such as Telemann, Handel and Gluck were among the composers who gained their economic independence.

Composition and Economics

It is not possible to see music as a homogeneous product. You can't equate Shostakovich or Mozart with a string quartet composed by Britten. The familiar supply/demand theory cannot be mentioned in music, it cannot be based on productivity.

The composer, who is an individual entrepreneur, creates both the demand and the market.

Free and Forbidden

Copyright in music can be applied to the products of the artist's creative work. used in the composing process raw materials has become public property. More specifically, rhythms, scales, tonalities, symbols and signs, instruments or forms (piano sonata etc.) is the market's partner bank.

In the period between the Middle Ages and the French Revolution, this scope reached its most extreme point, and melodies were also adopted. Baroque and Renaissance, which are among the distinguished periods of this long period, were the periods when the thefts of artifacts were experienced at the highest level, as can be expected.

The first and most important loss of composers who are caught by imitating other works is their prestige. When it comes to prestige, the first example that comes to mind is Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, who tried to present the work of his father JS Bach as his own and was convicted in 1749.

The first representative of the concept of copyright in music is Hamburg-born composer Johann Mattheson. According to him, melody is a factor that distinguishes two works from each other.

The first known copyright in history was given to Johannes von Speyer, who was engaged in printing, by the Kingdom of Venice (1469). This was not only a royalty, but also the beginning of a five-year monopoly.

The first known copyright declaration on artistic products other than books was made in France in 1676. The focus of the decree, signed by King Louis XIV, was the statues.

Music in Vienna of 1790

Beethoven the first independent composer (freelancer) because he had set foot in Vienna at the time when the previous movement, namely the aristocracy and courtly addicted composers, was drawing to a close. Handel and Telemann had predominantly advanced under the patronage of the aristocracy and were able to maintain a very limited part of their lives with economic freedom. Although Mozart continued to compose for a while as a 'freelancer', it is obvious that he did not have the most successful period of his life in terms of financial and productivity.

So what could have been the reasons for this freedom movement?

  1. Different financial possibilities (The industrial revolution, the monopoly of wealth by the nobility)
  2. Music began to be seen as art rather than just a means of entertaining the crowd.

Beethoven and Others

Beethoven's fame, for better or worse, did not make the financial return he had anticipated. The Napoleonic wars, the enlightenment and revolution that affected Europe left their mark on the artist's life as well as his compositions.

The artist has always wanted to make music on his own free terms, not at the behest of kings and nobles. Although he achieved this to a great extent, he paid the price of the path he chose, both materially and morally.

The composer's main sources of income are as follows:

  1. Playing the piano, giving private and public concerts
  2. Composition to order
  3. Composition to sell to publishers
  4. donations
  5. Few private lessons

The composer, who started to lose his hearing in the 1800s, ended his stage career in 1815. Although he gave a small number of performances, he had the chance to use the ostentatious and large halls:

Burgtheater1800Sptet (Op.20), 1st Symphony, 1st Piano Concerto
Theater an der Vienna18033rd Piano Concerto, 2nd Symphony
Theater an der Vienna1805Symphony 3
Theater an der Vienna18085th and 6th Symphony, 4th Piano Concerto, Op.80, Op.86
SymphonyPublisher RevenueBox Office Revenue
190 Gulden KMUnknown
2700 Gulden KM1390 Gulden KM
31100 Gulden KM-
41700 Gulden KM-
5 & 6450 Gulden KM-
7 & 81125 + 585 Gulden KM-
9550+ 600Gulden KM168+ 500 Gulden KM

Two weeks before his death, he signed a petition signed by Czerny, Spohr, Ries and Spontini to the German Parliament to prevent unauthorized reproduction of printed music. The composer who started the process was another famous name, Hummel.

The fight for intellectual property rights has not been successful. The main reasons for this are legislative differences between states. With the federal ministerial conference held in Vienna in 1834, illegal copying was banned throughout the country, and it was promulgated as federal law on November 8, 1837, 3 weeks after Hummel's death.

Kaynak: Albinsson, Staffan. “Early Music Copyrights: Did They Matter for Beethoven and Schumann?” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, vol. 43, no. 2, 2012


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