The clitorides voting is open until the end of April. Vote for your favourites [ X Dismiss ]
Home « Forum « Lost Stories

Forum: Lost Stories

Musical Revolution

awnlee jawking

Apologies to Lazeez for posting this here, but I'm hoping to tap the brains of the site's many science fiction fans.

Many years ago I read a (short?) story in a dead-tree book. It was about a young man who showed musical prowess. The regime encouraged him to write and play music based on the world around him, but he was forbidden to listen to music written by anyone else. One day he heard others playing music, the regime realised his music had become contaminated, and he was forbidden from playing again. Eventually, after overcoming several obstacles, he caused a revolution by playing music on trumpets.

Title and author will be fine, links are deprecated since it's not on SOL.

AJ

Replies:   io.thanateros
Ernest Bywater

I think you're after Lloyd Biggle Jnr's The Still, Small Voice of Trumpets where the main character is a spy from Earth on another planet and he hides in a town of people who had been punished by the king by having a hand cut off. One of the other new residents is a great musician who upset the king, so the spy creates a trumpet for him to learn to play. Trumpets were unknown to the planet. Many members of the town learned how to play the trumpets and the people when they wander around playing for the people they become famous and the king goes crazy when they do a royal command performance for the king and he realised they're all people he had previously punished. - I read it about 30 years back, and sure it's in one of my many boxes of SF books.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Vlad_Inhaler

dayum, Lloyd Biggle is not on https://scifistories.com - unfortunately.

Replies:   joyR  awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Many points of your description match (including the hand being chopped off), but I don't remember the spy being the main character.

I wonder whether the author first wrote it as a short story, then subsequently expanded it into a novel.

Many thanks for your help; I'll check whether my library has a copy.

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
joyR

@Vlad_Inhaler

dayum, Lloyd Biggle is not on ............................ - unfortunately.


So why post a link?

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
Vlad_Inhaler

@joyR

You are aware that the site has the same ownership as SOL and is not subject to any restrictions in this forum?

Replies:   joyR
awnlee jawking

@Vlad_Inhaler

He's too recent :(

AJ

joyR

@Vlad_Inhaler

You are aware that the site has the same ownership as SOL and is not subject to any restrictions in this forum?


Yes.

The OP stated the story in question was what is so charmingly referred to as a 'dead tree book'. Therefore the chances of the author posting it to a free story site are ridiculously small. Added to which you might as well add that it's not on finestories.com either. That would be just as helpful.

It's not about the link, just the pointlessness.

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
Vlad_Inhaler

@joyR

Look around that site and you will find a lot of stories which were originally published on dead trees there, if someone mentions a Science Fiction story then it makes sense to check if it has made its way over to the sister site.
This is not limited to short stories, I have some older books which have now made it to there.

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@Vlad_Inhaler

This is not limited to short stories, I have some older books which have now made it to there.


First published 1961 so you have a long wait for copyright to expire...

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@joyR

First published 1961 so you have a long wait for copyright to expire...


Is there something magic about the year 1961 that makes its publication date have a longer copyright. Is there some magic year before then that makes a copyright shorter? Or longer?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Wheezer

https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-duration.html

Dominions Son
Updated:

@PotomacBob

Technically, the magic date is actually 1976. That's when the term of US copyright first changed to the life + x formula used by the Berne Convention. However, it's not that simple.

Prior to 1976, under the 1909 US Copyright Act, the term of copyright was 20 years, renewable once and once only for another 20 years.

Of course that's complicated, by the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright extension.

The 1976 copyright act brought US copyright law into closer(but not exact) alignment with the Bern Convention.

It increased the terms of copyright to author's life + 70 years and eliminated mandatory registration (under the 1909 act you had to register to have a copyright at all).

However, none of the changes in the 1976 act were made retroactive to works under copyright before 1976, and the 1976 act allowed all pre-1976 works still under their original 20 year term to be renewed per the 1909 act terms whenever they expired.

Then comes the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Act which extended the term of copyright to life + 100 years, and it was explicitly retroactive to all works still under active copyright.

So for any US works to be for certain off copyright they would have to be older than 1998-40 years or 1958 or earlier. however anything as late as 1976 could be public domain if the author failed to renew.

Renewal under the 1909 act was not automatic, you had to explicitly file for it and there were fees that had to be paid, both for the original registration and the renewal. So it's possible that some authors/publishers with 1959-1976 works that were not in active circulation post 1976 didn't bother to renew.

Replies:   PotomacBob  joyR
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

but I don't remember the spy being the main character.


The main character is the spy went to create a rebellion, but the bulk of the story focuses on him helping the musician and and the other inhabitants of the town.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
PotomacBob

@Dominions Son

Thank you for the explanation. As to the assertion by someone else that a 1961 copyright doesn't expire for a long time - maybe that's true, maybe it isn't. I gather it could have expired as early as 1989?

Replies:   joyR  Dominions Son
joyR

@PotomacBob

Thank you for the explanation. As to the assertion by someone else that a 1961 copyright doesn't expire for a long time - maybe that's true, maybe it isn't. I gather it could have expired as early as 1989?


Maybe. But in fact the copyright for the story in question was renewed in 2010 which means that copyright existed or was reinstated (yes that is possible) and also that it will now expire long after all of us do.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@joyR

But in fact the copyright for the story in question was renewed in 2010 which


Not possible under US copyright law. Under the 1909 act it would get one renewal and that would have been in 1981.

As for reinstatement, that is technically possible, but requires publication of a revision of the original, not just republication.

The record you found appears to be for a Anthology (Full title: Chronocide mission & 9 other titles.) The anthology would have it's own copyright, but the individual stories in the anthology are not necessarily covered by that copyright.

Dominions Son

@PotomacBob

I gather it could have expired as early as 1989?


NO. It would have either had the fist 20 year term expire in 1981 and not be renewed, or it would have had an active copyright in 1998 and it won't expire until 100 years after the authors's death, 2061 at the absolute earliest (assuming the author died right after it was published).

joyR

@Dominions Son

Prior to 1976, under the 1909 US Copyright Act, the term of copyright was 20 years, renewable once and once only for another 20 years


Actually the 1909 term is 28 years, not twenty.

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Some background to my request:-

I've received a number of tweets recently from bubblethink writing 'experts' claiming that to be a good writer you first have to read a lot.

I was wondering whether that's true. Certainly I'm seeing more complaints from readers these days that it's harder and harder to find stories that are really original, and I was wondering whether it's because writers are in fact reading more and their work has become 'contaminated', like the musician's work in 'The Small Still Voice of Trumpets'.

Now that you've reminded me of the Title and Author of the story, I'll be able to use that in discussions with the bubblethink.

Thanks,

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I've received a number of tweets recently from bubblethink writing 'experts' claiming that to be a good writer you first have to read a lot.


I do know a lot of the older great authors all suggest new writers should read other writers to improve their understanding of how to write and writing styles, but they never suggest you read for story ideas. However, that doesn't mean you can't get and idea stimulated by something else you read. Sometimes I get an idea from another person's story, sometimes from the news, sometimes from what I see happen in real life - plenty of things in life to give you story ideas.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

they never suggest you read for story ideas


I wonder how many writers get started by reading a story and thinking they could have written a better version.

However, that doesn't mean you can't get an idea stimulated by something else you read.


I sometimes read a new story on SOL and think that I know the story where a certain turn of phrase or plot twist was borrowed from, consciously or otherwise. That engenders a sense of lack of originality.

AJ

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@awnlee jawking

That engenders a sense of lack of originality.


Everything that can be said has been said - but not everybody has yet had a chance to say it.

Replies:   garymrssn
garymrssn

@PotomacBob


Everything that can be said has been said - but not everybody has yet had a chance to say it.

While it may be true that "there is nothing new under the sun" we have yet to exhaust the possible arrangements.

Replies:   anim8ed
anim8ed

@garymrssn

Author Ray Bradbury often stated that an author should read to broaden their knowledge base. His recommendation to aspiring authors was to every night for 1000 days read a short story, an essay and a poem. He did qualify that by saying you should read quality works and not just any rubbish you can find.

On the other hand I have seen several recommendations NOT to read anything in the genre that you are writing so as not to be influenced.

If you have not watched Ray Bradbury on You tube I highly recommend it. He is quite entertaining as a speaker and has some... unique perspectives. He has a few different videos where he speaks about writing and his history as a writer.

io.thanateros

@awnlee jawking

Apropos to nothing, eerily similar to the story

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unaccompanied_Sonata

by Orson Scott Card

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@io.thanateros

Thank you, another variation on the 'contamination' theme. Another dead tree book for me to look for in my local library.

AJ

Back to Top