Recording, Arranging, Licensing

Recording Barnhouse Publications

If you record your band and make copies of CDs, tapes, videos, DVD, etc. you must obtain a “mechanical license” from the copyright owner, or their authorized agent.

Obtaining a mechanical license from Barnhouse is a quick and easy process. Submit the following information:

  • The title(s) and composer(s)/arranger(s) name of the music you plan to record
  • The name of the performing ensemble
  • Quantity of CDs, tapes, etc. you plan to produce
  • The name, address, telephone, fax, and email address of the “producer” (usually the band director); this is the person to whom we send the mechanical license
  • Payment of the licensing fees (see rates below.)

Statutory Mechanical Royalty Rates

  • $0.091 (9.1 cents) for works 5 minutes in duration or less
  • $0.0175 (1.75 cents) per minute or fraction thereof, for all works over 5 minutes.

(For example, music of 6 minutes and 30 seconds of duration would be calculated: 7 times $0.0175 = $0.1225 per copy produced.)

We recommend that you mail the requested information along with your payment, as opposed to emailing/faxing the info and mailing payment separately.  We process many licenses daily, and it is much more expedient for us to receive all requested material at the same time.

  1. L. Barnhouse Co.
    Attn. Mechanical Licenses
    P. O. Box 680
    Oskaloosa, IA 52577

Need more info?  Read on:

What is a mechanical license?

A mechanical license is issued by a copyright owner (often, the publisher) to a licensee, typically a record company or an individual producer (such as a school band director), granting the licensee the right to record and release a specific composition at an agreed-upon fee, per unit manufactured and distributed.

A 1909 revision to the copyright law provides for “compulsory mechanical licenses.” If a recording of a work has been previously distributed (and all Barnhouse copyrights fall into this category,) this means that if you pay the statutory licensing fee as prescribed by law, you cannot be denied the license.

  1. L. Barnhouse Co. administers all copyrights owned by the C. L. Barnhouse Company and the following “imprints:”
  • Birch Island Music Press
  • Chesford Music Publications
  • Norman Lee Publishing
  • K. L. King Music House

Please note that a small number of Barnhouse publications are licensed from other copyright owners, and in those cases we cannot issue mechanical licenses. If the printed music shows the copyright symbol next to the Barnhouse, Birch Island, Chesford, Norman Lee, or King Music House names, we DO administer those copyrights. If you have questions, please email [email protected].

Also note that as part of the copyright law, you are required to serve notice of intention to obtain a mechanical license from the copyright owner, before distributing recordings or within 30 days of doing so. At Barnhouse, we do not require you to notify us in advance. Your submission of all requested materials and payment within 30 days of distributing recordings will serve as that notice.

Mechanical licenses may be obtained from The Harry Fox Agency, Inc. or directly from the C. L. Barnhouse Co.

The Harry Fox Agency, Inc.
711 Third Ave, New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 370-5330
Fax: (646) 487-6779

  1. L. Barnhouse Co.
    Attn. Mechanical Licenses
    P. O. Box 680
    Oskaloosa, IA 52577
    Phone: (641) 673-8397
    Fax: (641) 673-4718

Harry Fox does offer the convenience of obtaining licenses online; however, they have a 500 quantity minimum on all licenses. Barnhouse will issue licenses in any quantity.

Additional notes

  1. Mechanical licenses must be obtained whether your recording is being sold or distributed for free.
  2. Often, your CD manufacturer will require you to show licenses for each selection on your CD before they will manufacture them.
  3. The statutory rate will change over time. Consult the Harry Fox website or contact Barnhouse for current rates. The rates shown above, however, are current through December 31, 2006.
  4. You do not need to first contact a copyright owner/publisher to ask permission to obtain a mechanical license. You can follow the steps above or license directly from Harry Fox.
  5. If you hire a recording service, do not assume that they are securing licenses on your behalf. Check with the recording service first.
  6. You do not need to obtain a mechanical license if you wish to make a single copy of a recording of a performance by students for evaluation and rehearsal purposes. Such a recording may be retained by the educational institution or individual teacher. You may record your concert or rehearsal to evaluate it or for rehearsal study, but you cannot make multiple copies without obtaining a mechanical license.

Arranging C. L. Barnhouse Copyrighted Publications

  1. Certain instances do not constitute “arranging,” and in these instances, you do not need to secure permission from the C. L. Barnhouse Company to make modifications to our copyrighted publications, generally provided that:
  • The fundamental character of the work is not distorted
  • The modifications are not being made to avoid purchase of copyrighted music
  • Such modifications are made expressly for your specific teaching situation

In other words, you do not need permission to

  • Rewrite a part for an instrument not included in your ensemble (i.e., rewriting an oboe part for clarinet because you have no oboe)
  • Simplify a part to accommodate the skill level of your players (i.e., change octave)

If you have specific questions beyond the scope of this explanation, please email [email protected]

  1. It does constitute arranging if you wish to rewrite a concert band work for marching band, or a jazz ensemble work for concert band, etc.  You must obtain permission in these situations.

For this type of request:

  • We assess a licensing fee of $250.
  • We stipulate that the arrangement would be for the sole use of your band
  • It may not be copied (other than copying sufficient parts and scores for your band members, directors, and judges) and may not be sold, rented, or otherwise duplicated for use by other individual or ensemble.
  • We require that the score and parts bear our copyright notice and other wording to be provided, and that ownership of the copyright remains with us.
  • The arrangement may not be recorded without a separate mechanical license
  • We require that a copy of the arrangement be forwarded to us, when completed, for our files.
  • We also need to know if the arrangement will be made by the individual securing the license, or if an “arranger-for-hire” will be used.

If you agree to the above conditions, please provide:

  • The title of the work you wish to arrange
  • Your name and contact information (address, phone, fax, email address)
  • The name of the school and address, phone, fax,
  • The name of the school principal
  • The name and contact information of the “arranger for hire,” (address, phone, fax, email address)

Upon receipt of those materials we will execute the agreement and forward copies to you for your files.  You should have this in hand before creating the arrangement.

You may email questions or information, if you wish to secure an arranging agreement, to [email protected]

Licensing C. L. Barnhouse Publications

If you wish to utilize C. L. Barnhouse copyrights in motion picture, television, or other venues, please email [email protected].