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RBCraswell

Contracts Songs

  • by RBCraswell
  • 10 videos
  • 5,617 views
  • 7 likes
  • 37 minutes
Ten songs from the classic cases of first-year contract law. Scrolll down to see the "Contracts Songs" play list below. ====================================================== PROGRAM NOTES "Write what you know," the saying goes. Possibly those who came up with the saying were not thinking of law professors. And probably they did not really mean something like "write songs about famous cases that are taught to beginning law students in the first-year course on contracts." Nevertheless, those cases ARE what I know, and these songs are the result. ¶ Mind you, music is not entirely foreign to these cases. One case involved opera singers (Lumley v Wagner), while another began with plans to film a Broadway musical (Parker v Twentieth-Century Fox). In still another case (Krell v Henry), the judge who wrote the key opinion was the uncle of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. For the most part, though, these cases are no more musical than everyday life is -- which is to say that the music, if any, lies in the human passions and misunderstandings and simple, heartfelt greed out of which these various disputes arose. W.H. Auden famously observed that "no good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are being sensible." Sensible people rarely litigate, either. ¶ Of course, operas and folk songs and other forms of music are not always accurate in their depiction of historical events, usually subordinating accuracy to entertainment. As a result, I have felt similarly free in these songs to stretch the limits of poetic or musical license. To mention just a few examples (others are left as an exercise for the listener): the seller in Frigaliment was of course a New York company, not the yokel portrayed in my song. The cannery supervisor in Alaska Packers was not nearly so quick to yield as my song suggests. Benjamin Lumley would certainly have known what a "cantatrice" was, even if others in the courtroom (or in a law school classroom today) might not. And my version of Sherwood v Walker is entirely fantastical, with no claim to any accuracy whatsoever. ¶ In short, if you are a law student (or a lawyer), READ THE CASES YOURSELF rather than relying on these musical paraphrases. All warranties of accuracy are hereby disclaimed. ================================================================== PRODUCTION NOTES The music for these songs was composed and arranged in Sibelius 6.2, then exported as a MIDI file and (except for the vocal parts) rendered digitally (first with Traktion 3.4; more recenttly with Reaper 4.5), using virtual instruments from a number of sources. The vocals were recorded using a cheap Radio Shack microphone, with -- except for the soprano part on #6 -- an even cheaper (and older) set of vocal chords.
Ten songs from the classic cases of first-year contract law. Scrolll down to see the "Contracts Songs" play list below. ====================================================== PROGRAM NOTES "Write what you know," the saying ...
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