To all my family, friends, fans and visitors, I wish y'all a great and Happy New Year.
The 20th of October came and went before I realized it was the 9th year that I've had this site up and running. I've had well over a half-million visitors stop by in that period of time with several million pages viewed.
The Music Theory page is the busiest, but each and every page has held its' own.
My sincere "Thanks" to each and every one who has made this website such fun.
To our valued members,
Today is a historic day for ASCAP and the entire music industry. At last, our blood, sweat and tears have paid off, and with the president's signature, the Music Modernization Act is officially the law of the land!
Thank you all for everything you have done to make this dream a reality — your calls, your social media posts, your letters, your visits to Washington made all the difference and we would not be here today without your efforts.
While there is still more progress to be made to ensure songwriters are paid what they deserve, today is a huge milestone, so let me be the first to offer my congratulations and sincerest thanks to all of you. For ASCAP and our members, the Music Modernization Act reforms the rate court process by ensuring that each new rate-setting will be before a randomly assigned judge, as is the case with most federal litigation, and by allowing the rate court judges to consider royalties paid to recording artists when determining what streaming services will pay songwriters for the exact same performance.
In addition to these reforms, the bill replaces the bulk "NOI" process with a "Mechanical Licensing Collective" to collect and distribute mechanical royalties for digital downloads and interactive streams, adopts a "willing buyer, willing seller" standard for mechanical royalties, creates a federal public performance rights for pre-1972 recordings (CLASSICS Act) and allows SoundExchange to pay record producers directly (AMP Act).
As one last MMA request, please join us in thanking our champions in Congress who were instrumental in delivering this bill to the White House and helping this bill become law. You can find your representative and contact them here.
ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board
To Our Valued Members,
The United States Senate today unanimously passed the Music Modernization Act, a comprehensive bill that aims to reform our outdated music licensing system and give music creators an opportunity to obtain compensation that more accurately reflects the value of music in a free market. ASCAP and our partners in the music industry have worked tirelessly for passage of this bill and this is a major victory for all songwriters, composers and music publishers.
We want to thank the thousands of you who joined together, raised your voices, wrote to your members of Congress and worked hard to help achieve this historic achievement.
Below are statements from ASCAP Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews and from ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board Paul Williams, on today’s vote:
“Today’s unanimous passage of the Music Modernization Act in the Senate represents a Herculean industry-wide effort to promote and celebrate songwriters and ensure their right to a sustainable livelihood. We applaud Senators Hatch, Alexander, Grassley, Feinstein, Whitehouse, Coons and the entire Senate for recognizing the value music has in both society and our hearts.” – Elizabeth Matthews, ASCAP Chief Executive Officer
“American songwriters work tirelessly behind the scenes to create the music that fans all over the world enjoy. Today, we made history by joining together and working for Senate passage of the Music Modernization Act, bringing us one step closer to a music licensing framework that reflects how people listen to music today. We urge the House of Representatives to swiftly pass the Senate bill, so the President can sign it into law and music creators can begin to see the benefits of this critical reform.” – Paul Williams, ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board
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Today is the day that I have launched an opportunity for banjo fans and enthusiasts that visit this website to take advantage of one heck of a deal. I've been working on an advanced book of banjo tunes for thirty some years including really professional printing of very highly detailed music and tablature including precise fingering for a number of tunes both original and in the Public Domain. It is now possible to listen to a computerized version of the tune and email me to order a PDF file of the tablature file that you'll be able to print or simply view on your computer desktop. The fee for each tune is set at $1.99.
To hear the tunes, follow this link: Banjo Book Volume One
Simply email me at: email@example.com and I'll get back to you as quickly as I can.
Dear Members of the United States Congress:
Songwriters are egregiously underpaid because laws governing the music industry have not kept pace with technology. The Music Modernization Act of 2017 will change that. This bill is the most significant update to music copyright law in over a generation and represents an unprecedented agreement between the music and technology industries. We, as the songwriters most affected by 100-year-old policies that reduce our royalties, encourage Congress to pass this legislation as soon as possible.
The Music Modernization Act is a bipartisan effort that will greatly improve the way mechanical and performance royalties are calculated. Today, digital services like Spotify, Apple, Pandora, Amazon and Google often do not know who to pay and money is lost to lack of information and inefficiency. The Music Modernization Act will create an entity, funded by the digital music companies, that will properly pay mechanical royalties for interactive streaming. It also gives songwriters a better shot at getting higher royalty rates in the Copyright Royalty Board proceedings. Additionally, it reforms the system that determines performance royalty rates for ASCAP and BMI by allowing rate courts to review market evidence into the valuation of how songwriters are compensated as well as giving them improvements to the rate court process.
When passed, this bill will be the biggest achievement that music creators have seen in the Digital Age. Unfortunately, there are many hurdles to face before this bill becomes law, which is why we songwriters are coming together to make our voices – which are so often behind the music – heard.
This bill is supported by the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the Songwriters of North America (SONA), the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), the Church Music Publishers’ Association (CMPA), the Production Music Association (PMA), MusicAnswers, the Music Publishers Association (MPA), the Council of Music Creators (CMC), the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) and the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP). The bill is also supported by the Digital Music Association (DiMA) which represents Amazon, Apple, Pandora, Spotify and YouTube.
The next time you hear your favorite song, think of the struggling small business owner who wrote it, and remember that you can do something to help by supporting the Music Modernization Act.
I want to thank all of my friends and fans for their continued support, emails and friendship from such places as the United States, Egypt, Japan, Russia, The Netherlands, Denmark, The United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Canada, Mexico, France, Hong Kong, Singapore, Austria, The Czech Republic, Belgium, Switzerland, South Africa, India, Saigon, Malaysia, Spain, New Zealand, Ireland, Iceland, Islensku, Kuwait, Israel, Romania, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Happy 8th anniversary to this website (the 20th of October, 2017). A great big THANKS to all who visit and to the many questions regarding the Music Theory page.
Mary, my loving wife and this site's photographer and I enjoy so very much working on this site and perfecting it in any way we can.
Here's to another year!
Happy Birthday (October 6th, 2017) to Mary, my loving wife, best friend and life's partner. I couldn't begin to keep this website up without her guiding hand, computer expertise and helpful suggestions/input.
I love you Mary!
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Bluegrass & Fiddling
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