Favorite work of February
Every month a member of the Carus team introduces his/her favorite work , whether it be a choral piece , a CD, a songbook or an instrumental work. The recommendation for February 2018 was contributed by Lana Zickgraf.
The Three ??? Kids: Music Thieves A musical by Boris Pfeiffer (text) and Peter Schindler (music)
Are you still listening or are you already stealing? With the theft of intellectual property, nowadays we probably think mainly about illegal file-sharing. But alongside virtual theft by consumers, artists themselves can become thieves of music: at least that is how a US court decided between inspiration and plagiarism in 2015, awarding the heirs of Marvin Gaye a compensation payment of 7 million dollars, as the mega hit Blurred Lines by Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke resembled Gaye's classic Got to Give It Up too closely.
And yet drawing on other musical works and arranging them in a compositional process is probably as old as music itself: thus Johann Sebastian Bach arranged Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's Stabat Mater for his version of Psalm 51 ( Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden BWV 1038 ), Alban Berg quoted the Lyric Symphony by Alexander von Zemlinsky in his own Lyric Suite, and Igor Stravinsky quoted Franz Schubert's Marche Militaire in his Circus Polka.
The question is therefore, where does a parody or musical quotation end, and where does plagiarism or music theft begin? In the case of the musical The Three ??? Kids: Music Thieves by Boris Pfeiffer and Peter Schindler it is quite clear. A song by the singer Modena is stolen from the recording studio and distributed via the internet. Disguised as choir singers, the well-known trio of Justus, Peter, and Bob have to find the thief and put a stop to his game. And so the musical deals with this exciting, but also highly current topic of music theft in an extremely up-to-date way, suitable for children.
In the time of the ‘value gap', that is the imbalance between the increasing use of digital music streaming and the comparatively modest share of profits received by the copyright owners, I find it important to confront children from very early on with the question of what music is worth. As well as this, the musical teaches children respect for intellectual property – and all of this through Peter Schindler's catchy, entertaining, and fresh music!
Lana Zickgraf studied music theatre and historical musicology in Bayreuth, Ferrara, and Hamburg. Since October 2017 she has been responsible for international distribution at Carus Verlag.