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Article

John Barnes, Charles Beare and Laurence Libin

Faking musical instruments can involve such acts as creating an entirely new deceptive object, rebuilding an instrument with intent to deceive, conflating parts from different sources to form an instrument with a fictitious history, or forging an inscription on an instrument (and producing false documentation) in order to associate it with an advantageous name or period. A successful faker needs to know what customers want and the extent of their historical knowledge. Fakes can thus shed light on those who were deceived as well as on those responsible for deception. Partly to discourage misrepresentation, during the Middle Ages European trade guilds began to register makers’ marks and require their use on products; bells were perhaps the first instruments to bear such identification. Despite continuing efforts to suppress the practice, and improving methods of detection, faking and forgery, especially of valuable instruments sought by collectors as investments, continue to flourish.

Instruments of the famous Ruckers family, enlarged and redecorated to satisfy contemporary taste and musical requirements, were in demand in the 18th century, particularly in Paris. Since the alterations concealed much of the original material and involved replacement of many parts, it was not difficult for those engaged in this trade to satisfy the market without actually starting from an original Ruckers instrument. Several workshop inventories taken for legal purposes refer frankly to counterfeit Ruckers harpsichords....

Article

Timothy M. Crain

Performing rights organization. It represents songwriters and publishers and their right to be compensated for having their music performed in public. With headquarters in Nashville and offices in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, and London, it is the smallest of the main Performing rights societies in the United States. Unlike the not-for-profit organizations ASCAP and BMI, which distribute all income from performance royalties to their composer and publisher affiliates (minus an administrative fee), SESAC retains a certain amount of the performance royalties from its members. Moreover, membership in SESAC is selective and only granted through an application process. Once admitted, musicians and publishers are paid royalties based upon how much their music is played through monitoring by computer database information and broadcast logs.

SESAC was founded in 1930 by Paul Heinecke, a German immigrant to the United States. Heinecke lead the company until his death in 1972. The original name of the company was the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers, although it has subsequently gone simply by SESAC. The society originally strove to support under-represented European stage authors and composers with their American performance royalties. With an established base repertoire of European concert traditions, it turned its attention to American music traditions in the 1930s, including gospel and Christian music genres and eventually moved into mainstream popular musics during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Since the 1960s the company has represented an ever-growing range of writers and genres, including notables such as Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond. In ...