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Topic: Background music for children show
Message: Posted by: almagic (May 13, 2004 01:58AM)
Hi Guys,

I'm looking for some background music for my 30 min children magic show. Do you know where to get some nice music?
Message: Posted by: edfliss (May 13, 2004 08:29AM)
Search eBay for "Royalty Free Music." You will find an amazing variety of CDs at reasonable prices. They are not specifically for magic, but are licensed for radio, TV, film, and other sorts of production (including magic shows). Use royalty free music and stay legal.

Ed
Message: Posted by: Jeff Haas (May 13, 2004 12:01PM)
There was also a CD that Mike Close reviewed in MAGIC recently -- music composed specifically for use in children's shows. He gave it a favorable review; it's an issue or two back.

Jeff
Message: Posted by: Tate (May 20, 2004 09:03PM)
Almagic,

Arthur Stead has created a cd with kidshow music. You can see his ad here http://www.kidabra.org/ArthurStead/
I only wish these royalty free music sites would put a brief sample of their work online. I own Arthur's cd and am currently putting it into my act. He will be lecturing at KIDabra this year on putting music into your show and will have a second cd available.

Tate
Message: Posted by: MagicalPirate (May 20, 2004 11:04PM)
Hi Tate:

Thanks for the link and the help with the Santa Beard issue.

Martin :pirate:
Message: Posted by: Mike James (May 24, 2004 02:00AM)
At the moment, I'm listening to the soundtrack from Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and there are a couple of quite happy tracks (such as "Homeland") that might work in some application... dunno.

http://www.filmtracks.com/titles/spirit_stallion.html
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (May 24, 2004 10:43PM)
[quote]
On 2004-05-24 03:00, Mike James wrote:
At the moment, I'm listening to the soundtrack from Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and there are a couple of quite happy tracks (such as "Homeland") that might work in some application... dunno.

(http://www.filmtracks.com/titles/spirit_stallion.html)
[/quote]

Not without paying appropriate licensing fees to the music publisher they won't (and note that, if the music is an integral dramatic part of the performance, an ASCAP/BMI license WON'T cover you, you must arrange for rights with the publisher directly).
Message: Posted by: almagic (May 26, 2004 11:53PM)
Thank Tate,

I think that one should be good. One thing is that he does not accept credit card, that's make it a bit troublesome to order.

I will wait for his second edition to be out, then order both together. Thank you very much for your help.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jun 27, 2004 02:33AM)
Does he accept paypal?
Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (Jun 29, 2004 01:12PM)
[quote]
Not without paying appropriate licensing fees to the music publisher they won't (and note that, if the music is an integral dramatic part of the performance, an ASCAP/BMI license WON'T cover you, you must arrange for rights with the publisher directly).
[/quote]
Has anyone actually looked into obtaining rights to use music in performance? Does the local birthday party magician REALLY have to worry about the music he plays on his boom box at the local kids party? I do banquets, schools and some small theater. I contacted ASCAP and BMI and basically got laughed at!

What if you are using a sample of the music or a short loop?

If anyone else has had REAL experience with this I would welcome some comment.
Message: Posted by: alekei (Jul 1, 2004 05:23AM)
I would recommend to use music the Children already know. Music from Disney Films, or from popular Cartoons.

About Copyright,....I have asked this before to some people who know about that ad they have told me that for this purposes I just need to contact the publisher, tell him what I Want to do and in the main cases, they'll agree and you won't have any problem. If you are doing private parties, that's NOT a Public performance. When you buy a CD, you are buying the rights to play it in your home, and if you want, you can borrow it to a friend to play it in his home and it's o.k.

That Copyright stuff it's not so STRAIGHT and COMPLICATED, the people make it that way. Imagine what would happen if ALL the musicians are worried because some people who bought their CDS are playing it in their private parties and dancing with their music without their permission. In most cases, it's an honour for the musician you are using their music.

Regards,

Alejandro.
Message: Posted by: Blitzen (Jul 1, 2004 11:12AM)
Playing the music for a private party may or may not technically be infringement. It's not infringement for a party goer to put in a CD, but if you're using the money in a commercial way (as part of a paid or otherwise compensated performance)that might be considered an infringement. I don't know of any case law directly on point. Copyright holders generally don't care about quibbling over legal technicalities unless they're actually being harmed by the infringement or they think they need to pursue even minor issues of infringement to put potential infringers on notice that they're not going to play around.
The closest thing I can think of concerns Disney. They vigourously defend their copyrights. One thing they do is occassionally go after daycare places that pop in a Disney movie or CD claiming that such use is an unlicensed public performance. Now, whether or not it is a public performance is debateable. One thing Disney doesn't want is for the case to go to court and it be ruled that the daycare isn't infringing -- it's preferable to them to maintain a legal grey area. They also don't want to acquiesce, so what they do is send a letter to the daycare saying 'we believe you're violating our copyright, we don't necessarily want to sue and we're reasonable people so we'd like to offer you a license to continue to use our stuff'. The license terms are favorable to Disney, but nothing that the daycare will likely care about and the royalty rate is small enough where the daycare isn't going to mind paying it.
I would tend to think that in most situations the same type of thing would happen to a magician performing at a kids party. In essence, the chances of getting caught are tiny and there is a reasonable legal arguement that you're not infringing the copyright so the copyright holder is probably not going to bother taking you to court since they'd likely lose money on the legal fees even if they won. So, if you are caught, you'll probably be offered a reasonable license to continue using the music.
Conversely you could send a letter to the publisher informing them of your intentions and request a license. Chances are they'll be more than happy to license the music to you for such uses.
Message: Posted by: Sal Amangka (Jul 10, 2004 12:05PM)
AlMagic,

See if Richard Allen's "Music for magicnas" with suit your style.


Sal Amangka
Message: Posted by: Bill Scott (Jul 16, 2004 11:10AM)
Arthur Stead (www.arthurstead.com) has just released a new royalty-free background music CD. 31 excellent tracks. It's FANTASTIC and well worth the reasonable cost..... but he's made it a limited edition - only 100 copies.
Message: Posted by: cosermann (Jul 20, 2004 03:37PM)
This site has royalty free music AND has demos of everything I looked at so you can listen to it first.

http://www.musicbakery.com

You can searh on tempo, style, etc. To help find what you're looking for.

Regards,
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jul 27, 2004 08:33AM)
Arthur Stead has a new website:

http://www.arthurstead.com/

AND he has two great new CD The Make it Magic Performance CD and Skull-O-Pini. In a couple of weeks he will have Make it Magic Volume II CD

He only takes Checks or Money Orders. He is not a member of PayPal.
Message: Posted by: Darko (Jul 28, 2004 01:34PM)
Pay someone to make music for you maybe is a good ideia. This music will be only yours and, if made properly, fit perfectly in your show. Think about it.

(sorry about my english)
Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Aug 10, 2004 11:00AM)
Use classical based themes that children will
recognize. Like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,
Wagner's Opera theme of Kwill the Wabbit, Space Odessy. Or you can have me write something ya.

:)

good luck.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Aug 25, 2004 06:17AM)
Check BMI first to see if they want their royalties (registered).

If it's an import, most likely not.

Also, are you using instrumental music? Kind of a tough call one would think on getting a license etc when some of the impersonators today can make almost near perfect replicas. Remember the old days when you would order an album and only find out after receiving it, it was made by various artists?

I have sent emails to overseas location license agencies for permission to use ONE song. I only have 2-3 songs total (2 instrumental) that I am currently using until I can use royalty free music that will fit my acts.

(Thanks Wellington) :)
Message: Posted by: Joseph_Then (Aug 28, 2004 09:09AM)
From what I understand from my friend, playing songs for private parties will not hurt at all.

BMI, Disney may even close one-eye if a someone plays their music even in childcare or mini public area.

They wouldn't sue because it's TOO SMALL to arrange for any legal case. They will make noise with big companies like, say, Wal-Mart plays their music while their customers are shopping...

As for performing in shopping centres, I believe there wouldn't be problem because shopping centres would have obtained the rights to play any music in their building. Thus even if a performer plays Disney music in that building, there is little or no legal issues.

I don't know if it is true for all areas, at least it's true for mine.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Aug 29, 2004 12:42AM)
NKThen,

After much research, it appears you are correct. Birthday parties at homes are okay and so are public schools. Venue owners are responsible for the events held in their establishments. Being a children's performer has it's advantages:)

Adult performances are another story.

WC
Message: Posted by: CamelotFX (Aug 29, 2004 01:05AM)
Albert W. Ketčlbey's "In a Persian Market" and Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Goslings" from "Swan Lake" were classic themes of children's TV magic shows from the 1950s. I still associate them with children's magic to this day.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Aug 29, 2004 01:57AM)
Do you know where I can find these Camelot?
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Sep 5, 2004 10:50AM)
A couple of questions...

Do you get paid for your performances?

Do you buy your magic tricks and effects?

Are you selective in what you present? (you don't just use any old trick or prop you can get cheap)

Please consider your music as just as important...
it will be pervasive, it will be prominant and it will be your signature as much as your closing effect.

Get the Licensed cuts that are available and choose those that not only fit your style but ENHANCE your performance.

Because of my business of providing licensed Music On Hold and Commercial Messages to auto dealers...I had to buy two licenses...one for it to be used UNDER the voice over and a 'performance' license for it to be used as 'just music'...that performance license also allows the music to be used by my magician clients in the intros I provide.

IF you look at your childrens shows and birthday parties as a business...then dot the I and cross the T and do it right. It is not expensive and your karma gets a kick start. It's all about ethics to be sure but it's also about the Golden Rule as well. If you can do your own music that's one thing...if you need someone elses talent and INVESTMENT then that is another and should be taken care of IF you are benefiting (especially financially). I really don't think it's a matter of what you can get away with...who cares about that except the imature...it's about being proper and taking the next step toward being truely a professional...another notch in the pistol that puts you that one more step ahead of the competition.


Thanks
Doug
Message: Posted by: Chuck Lyons (Sep 5, 2004 12:28PM)
I agree wit Doug. I use music in evry performance. I have found that the use of music sets the emotional balance. Be is sad , happy or exciting or mysterious. I have used many of the royality free music and have yet to try mr sneads. As I have stated before I have just recieved Doug's Cd introduction to my show and he put music under it too and It does set my show up to the audince that we are going to have fun. I quess what I am trying to say is that music when coupled with the appropriate action can be a driving force to get your audience to "feel" your performance and not just see it.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Sep 5, 2004 01:51PM)
I have had a lot of fun and success taking old records of Merle Evans, Callopie, and other circus type music to use for kids shows. There is a great variety of pur intrumental music for this stuff. There are also cd's by Richard Widmarsh made today that have recordings of the many of the old time circus stuff. But you can pick up the records cheap, drop them into your computer and burn a cd rom and have it forever.

You do not have to being doing a circus themed show to use this stuff. It is great to build excitement in the audience. It's just what it was designed to do. And with computer editing, you can easily change the tempo, add sound effects, and loop the tracks to fit your needs.

If there is interest, I can pass along some of the pieces I have found useful.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Sep 25, 2004 06:19AM)
Where can I find Merle Evans recordings Richard?
Message: Posted by: arthur stead (Oct 1, 2004 01:05PM)
Thanks for your interest in my royalty-free music products. Some sample clips of my music can now be accessed on the products page of my website: http://www.arthurstead.com
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Oct 1, 2004 03:51PM)
They sound great, I got all of Arthurs CDs and Several of his routines to music. (Skull-O-Pini, Abe Lincoln, & Merlin). Love'em all!
Message: Posted by: The Magic Ref (Oct 17, 2004 11:52PM)
I was at Arthur Steads lecture at this years Kidabra. He made a good point of saying you could probablly "Get-a-Way" with using others music but it's wrong to do. How would you feel if a magician stole your signature routine without asking for permission to use it. You probablly wouldn't sue him but you wouldn't think it is right either. We all have our own level of right and wrong. You just have to decide if it's ok with you to steal someone else's work. Also he made a great point. That we might not think of, that is we practice and make perfect a routine, and we get a big break with a night club or venu. Now you can't use the music and you have to rework your routine. Just a few thoughts... :)
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Oct 18, 2004 01:40AM)
Laflin's stuff is good...in sounds a little like a midi file but its good.
Message: Posted by: what (Oct 18, 2004 10:03AM)
[quote]
On 2004-10-18 00:52, The Magic Ref wrote:
I was at Arthur Steads lecture at this years Kidabra. He made a good point of saying you could probablly "Get-a-Way" with using others music but it's wrong to do. ...
[/quote]

I assume that you mean that you should not use someone elses music (or routine for that matter) without their permission. After all, rare is the magaician who can perfrom magic and compose her own music.

Mike
Message: Posted by: arthur stead (Oct 26, 2004 03:18PM)
Mike,

Here’s the essence of what I said at my KIDabra lecture. First, a little background on Copyright: Many performers think it’s OK to use mainstream music freely at, for example, a birthday party. Actually, it’s not. When you buy a music tape or CD, that purchase only gives you the right to play the music IN PRIVATE. Just like the “home” use of “home” videos. You buy the right to use that music privately, in your home or your car. If you play the music in public, you need permission. You have to “license” the right to use that music from the copyright owner. If you use the music WITHOUT payment, you are guilty of copyright infringement. And that can be VERY costly, if you get caught.

Here’s the rule in a nutshell: It doesn’t matter if you’re a clown, a magician, a balloon twister, or a storyteller. It’s very simple to understand: If you are being paid to perform, and you use music which benefits your act, you are obliged to pay the copyright owner of that music. It’s similar to buying a book. You buy the right to read that book. Your purchase DOES NOT include the right to get paid for reading from it in public. Nor does it give you the right to reprint and sell that book. For that, you need to obtain permission, and pay a fee to the author, publisher, and/or other copyright owners.

In music, copyright owners are most often the composers and lyricists. But other people may also have a stake in ownership. A recording artist who records one of my songs automatically owns the copyright to their own interpretation of my song. The record label, the music publisher, the music arranger, and even the record producer may also own a piece of the pie. If the song is used in a movie, the film company will also claim a share of the profits.

Performing Rights Organizations such as BMI, ASCAP and SESAC collect royalties from public performances of music on behalf of the copyright owners. In my own case, I am a composer/publisher member of BMI. They collect and distribute royalties for my compositions which have been recorded and performed in public, or on the radio or TV. However, with the advances of the Internet there has been so much piracy, that most of the income I earned has been stolen through illegal downloading, CD duplication and bootlegging. It’s no wonder the Performing Rights Organizations have started clamping down. And now you know why I am such a serious campaigner on this sensitive subject.

Recently, at KIDabra 2004, Duane Laflin and I were discussing this issue of using copyrighted music. And he told me a horror story: The “music police” started taking action in Virginia Beach just two months ago. Establishments and individuals who were using copyrighted music without permission were told to pay thousands of dollars in fines, or be shut down. Just like that. They didn’t even see it coming!

Now, you might say to yourself: “But who’s ever going to check up on me at a birthday party?” And you might be right. BMI might not give a hoot about your birthday party appearances. You may never get caught. But what about that ONE time when a representative of a Performing Rights Organization is present in your audience at a Company Picnic? Or someone mentions it in conversation? Believe me, word gets around. And as described above, big fish and little fish can get caught.

The simple fact is: Using copyrighted music without permission is unethical, and it is illegal. Read that sentence again. Think about it. Now, I don’t want to get into morals and ethics. That all depends on our individual beliefs. But here is just one additional reason NOT to use copyrighted music without permission (and this is something I also shared in my KIDabra lecture):

Let’s say you’ve developed an act using music for which you don’t have a license. Over the years you’ve become really comfortable with the timings of each song. And the different moods, created by the music, for each of your routines is just right. You know where each musical hit and accent is, and you instinctively match your actions to those musical highlights. The show is just perfect!

Then one day, you get called to appear on TV, or a Theme Park. This is your big break! But now, you’ve got to find all new, royalty-free music for your act! You can’t use unlicensed music on TV or in other big venues. And a license isn’t granted overnight. So now you have to substitute royalty-free music for all the pieces you’re familiar with. First, you’ve got to find suitable music. And then you’ve got to re-learn all your routines to work with that new music! It’s going to be a long and laborious nightmare!

The simplest solution is: Use Royalty-Free Music! Elsewhere on this Board you can read about my Make it Magic series of royalty-free music CD’s. Or visit my website at: http://www.arthurstead.com.

- Arthur Stead
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Oct 26, 2004 05:52PM)
Hi Arthur,
Do you have an 'samples' of your music we can download and listen to? e.g. 20 second grabs.
Message: Posted by: Tate (Oct 26, 2004 07:51PM)
There are a couple of clips off each of Arthur's three CD's here:
http://www.arthurstead.com/Sample1.html
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Nov 1, 2004 05:56AM)
It would be nice if the licensing agencies would answer their mail. Seems they could careless about the small town performer.

Children are use to their silly songs and hip hop. Sad fact but true. It needs to be easier to use a few songs and perhaps mix it with royalty free music during a private performance, schools etc. I know PE teachers use anything they want at the schools.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 2, 2004 01:04AM)
[quote]
On 2004-05-24 23:43, Andy Leviss wrote:
[quote]
On 2004-05-24 03:00, Mike James wrote:
At the moment, I'm listening to the soundtrack from Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and there are a couple of quite happy tracks (such as "Homeland") that might work in some application... dunno.

(http://www.filmtracks.com/titles/spirit_stallion.html)
[/quote]

Not without paying appropriate licensing fees to the music publisher they won't (and note that, if the music is an integral dramatic part of the performance, an ASCAP/BMI license WON'T cover you, you must arrange for rights with the publisher directly).
[/quote]

That's not an issue if you are performint only at private parties, such as in people's homes. There are also no licensing fees necessary if performing at a school or church.

However, Andy is right, once you get out of these venues.

[quote]
On 2004-11-01 06:56, Candini wrote:
It would be nice if the licensing agencies would answer their mail. Seems they could careless about the small town performer.

Children are use to their silly songs and hip hop. Sad fact but true. It needs to be easier to use a few songs and perhaps mix it with royalty free music during a private performance, schools etc. I know PE teachers use anything they want at the schools.
[/quote]

Again, it depends on the venue, Arthur is right up to a point. However, if you are performing in someone's home or at a church or school, those are SPECIFICALLY exempted.

I am a member of ASCAP. I have checked these things out with ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.

Regarding contacting the licensing agencies, forget about mailing them. You have a phone. Use it. They have a legal staff that will tell you everything you need to know. And they are quick about it.

On the other hand, for convenience, using royalty-free music makes a lot of sense. On the off chance that your birthday party show moves out of a private home and into a dude ranch somewhere (NOT exempt) or someone's office (NOT exempt), you will want to be able to do so without any problems.

Before anyone goes wild responding to this post, let me give you this disclaimer. It has been two years since I called ASCAP, BMI and SESAC about this. If there has been a rules change since then, then I apologize. But I don't think there has been.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Nov 2, 2004 05:03AM)
Again, it depends on the venue, Arthur is right up to a point. However, if you are performing in someone's home or at a church or school, those are SPECIFICALLY exempted.


Thanks Bill for clearing it up. I know magicians who have reached fame status and use sound techs with today's popular music. However, they still perform in educational institutes and children parties. I would hope a venue I was playing at had licensed dee jays already.

I realize there will be a day when we are forbidden to touch anything but royalty free music. That will be too bad cause there is so much kids identify with today. Also, its good for music companies when they ask what songs we use and the kids beg their parents to buy it.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Nov 2, 2004 08:03PM)
Candini if Bill Says Something by all Means TRUST Him. Don,
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Nov 3, 2004 02:02AM)
I trust him Donster. Perhaps some of us depend too much on music. I know of at least one performer who uses no music and is very successful.
Message: Posted by: vincentmusician (Feb 19, 2021 02:04AM)
Of course it is possible to perform a Magic Show without music. As someone mentioned before, it just so happens that I am one of those Rare Magicians that happens to be a Singer, Songwriter Recording Artist. Oddly enough, I used to use Cover songs in my Shows. I thought that kids may like songs they know better than Original Songs. I was wrong. If the song is good and has a good beat, they seem to like it just fine. So my advice is to not use music everyone else is using. Even if you do not write your own music, choose music that sets you apart from others. Once I used a popular hit song that everyone knows and got Laughed at by some adults. That is when I started using my Original Music and Songs. I never got laughed at again! Cheers!