home site map printer-friendly October 20, 2014
Original Jazz Charts

NOTE: Original Jazz Charts had an active life from the mid-90s through the early 2000s, back when folks used to use Usenet groups like rec.music.bluenote. Since the Web and blogging took over, there is no longer a central place where jazz composers and enthusiasts communicate. It's unfortunate that the distributed nature of the Web has broken down the wonderful, centralized forum of Usenet. In any case, I rarely receive contributions any more, and this site should be considered an archive. You are welcome to send me your charts, and the site is generally well indexed by search engines.


Welcome to Original Jazz Charts on Bsharp.org, where jazz composers present their compositions and a little about themselves. A long time ago, this site was mirrored at WNUR; however, that mirror, although still live, is not maintained and is way out of date. If you have it bookmarked, please replace that bookmark with this page.

Musicians on the net can post images of charts of their original tunes to this area (see below for submission guidelines). MIDI files (preferably with General MIDI patch changes), notation software files and the like are also welcome.

Most of these composers are regular readers of the Usenet group rec.music.bluenote. You are encouraged to play their tunes and post comments to r.m.b. That's one of the purposes of this link!

If you would like to play a tune in public, however, you should ask the composer first whether that is o.k. All the composers here can be directly contacted via email. You and the composer may have very different interpretations of the same chart!

Submission Guidelines

The Original Jazz Charts site is maintained by Sam Hokin. There are three ways you can place your original charts here:

  1. Create an HTML page with links to image files on your own server.
  2. Email scans of your charts and associated text to me.
  3. Mail your charts and e-mail associated text to me, and I'll scan the charts and place them here.

If you scan your charts, please do it in "line-art" mode (1-bit) at 300 dpi, so that the resulting GIF is reasonably small (around 100 kB), yet has enough detail for full-size printing (around 2500x3500 pixels). If you can't convert the scan to GIF format, I probably can. Postscript and PDF versions of charts are also welcome.

If you'd like me to scan your charts, make sure they are clear, readable, high contrast copies so he doesn't have to touch up the images.

In addition, you are asked to write a short biography of yourself. What instruments do you play? Who are your biggest influences? Do you play out, and, if so, where and with what group? What's your e-mail address?

Songs with lyrics can have the lyrics written on the chart or listed separately as a text link.

If you're interested in posting your own tunes, contact Sam.

Copyright Issues

A number of composers have asked me about copyright issues. I'm not an expert on copyright law, but my understanding of the Bourne Convention is that the copyright for any original material resides with the creator, unless otherwise transferred. The issue is then proof of origination in case of a dispute, and for that purpose the gold standard in the U.S. is registration of copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress. Click here to read about copyright basics, and how to register a copyright online.

Since proof of origination often boils down to demonstrating the earliest date of existence, the web logs and submission records on Original Jazz Charts provide another means at your disposal. If someone claims they wrote your chart, say, a year after you sent it to me, I'll be more than happy to provide a copy of the email you sent me when you submitted it, as well as the lines from the web server logs showing dates your charts were downloaded from the Bsharp.org server.

Don't Be Shy!

Only a couple dozen brave composers have sent me their charts, while there have been thousands of unique host accesses. That means there's a lot of musicians out there that are holding back! Don't be shy -- SEND ME YOUR CHARTS!

About the charts...

Your browser's built-in viewer will most likely shrink or display a tiny fraction of the chart images on screen. Unless your browser uses a viewer that can handle a 2550x3300 GIF image in a convenient way, you should save the images to a file on your computer and use a better viewer or print them out. The main purpose of Original Jazz Charts is to provide high-resolution charts that you can print out and set on your music stand.