Music Library

General rules for clearing sheet music

All sheet music owned by the chorus shall be controlled and cleared. To keep track a database/library file is preferable. The repertoire usually consists of a number of different songs:

  • Original barbershop arrangements of American songs
  • “Modern” songs in barbershop arrangements
  • Christmas songs – Nordic and English
  • Traditional ballads

How to clear the rights varies for different songs, but you can usually find a lot of the information needed on the sheet music. They should contain information about the composer, lyricist and arranger as well as who owns the copyrights. Each song should have the composer(s) and lyricist(s) noted, as well as the arranger of the song. On the first page you should also find who owns the copyright of the specific song.

Below a general description on how to proceed in Sweden. The process may differ slightly for the other Nordic countries. To find out the correct procedure for your country please contact the appropriate performing rights society:

Always start by contacting STIM, Svenska tonsättares internationella musikbyrå, and check out what applies regarding the rights. They have listed basically all songs that are published either in Sweden or abroad. When you find out the publishing company which owns the copyright, contact them and inquire about what applies in this case. You should ask for the right to copy the music in X number.

Some publishers do not accept you doing the copying but you may buy an original copy for each member of the chorus. This usually applies to Swedish publishers and traditional arrangements.