I'm going through the music on The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records Vol 1 in chronological order.

There is (truly) some marvelous stuff in this collection, but it also throws in to sharp relief how the evolution of American music happened *very* quickly.

This stuff from 1918 could have been recorded in 1908 or in 1898.

The same *cannot* be said about stuff from 1923. Music changed *so much* from 1920 - 1923.

And like, this rendition of Tiger Rag from April 1920 is certainly clean and lively in a way that I might not have expected from a 1918 recording, but the song itself is from 1917, and this rendition of it isn't *that* different from the 1917 renditions, and the 1917 renditions were New and Vibrant but also very much an anomaly in popular music.

Here's the original 1917 rendition for comparison.

(Oh Both of these mp3s are of recordings that are clearly in the public domain, having been originally published in 1917 and 1920 respectively.)


The other side of that rendition of Tiger Rag from 1920 shows a little more of a glimpse of what was to come.

It is quintessential jazz age jazz.

Here is Blues (my naughty sweetie gives to me) by the Whiteway Jazz Band, recorded in April of 1920, for Paramount Records, PM-20014/800-2

One thing to note about this collection that is in turns welcome and frustrating is that it includes a lot of unissued matterial from Paramount and Black Swan.

That's great! It means that this stuff is out in the world.

But it was officially published in 2015, not in 1920 or whatever, so it is copyrighted from then.


Except that all music recorded prior to 1976 will have its copyright expire on the same day, regardless of when/if it was published?

Except maybe not?

It's a gray area that's decades away.

@ajroach42 isn't it the shorter of 95 years from first pub OR 120 years from creation in the US for copyrights held by organizations? So if something is produced in 1920 and not released until 2015, I think it still enters public domain in 2040, right?

@calcifer I haven't dug in to the specifics of the music modernization act, and how it works for unpublished works. It's not clear.

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