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Music Arranging Music Arranging

By Mauritz Kop LL.M.

If you are going to arrange music that isn't in the public domain yet, you or your publisher will need permission from the world copyright holder.

The world copyright holder is usually the record company, or the artist itself. No permission is needed when arranging works that are in the public domain (mostly older classical works).

Examples of well-known composers not yet in the public domain:

Rachmaninov, Bartok, Richard Strauss, Schoenberg, Prokovjev, Varese, Stravinky, Sjostakovic, Orff.

NB most popular Christmas songs are not yet in the public domain either so prior to releasing a cover or an arrangement you need to obtain a license and get written approval (arrangement only) from the world copyright holder.

We noticed there are a lot of misconceptions about the legal differences between arranging, remixing, cover songs, and the use of samples. We are here to help clear things up.

For more information about the legal aspects of music arranging and getting clearance, go to the Contact Us page.