Dear Customer ,
This is attorney Bill offering assistance to your question on copyright law for your upcoming musical performance. The law in relation to using another's creative work in the US means that works that aren't in the public domain or in which copyright ownership is still possessed means that you must acquire a license to use the work unless your use comes within an exception to copyright protection.
All works published before 1923 are in the public domain and are free to use without acquiring a license.
Works published from 1923 until 1977 published without copyright notice are also in the public domain.
Copyright protection depends on the date of publishment , whether it was published with notice and whether the registration was subsequently renewed.
Records can be checked online for those published after 1978 and at the library of congress for works before 1978.
You may find that the work is in the public domain.
You are also entitled to limited use of any work so long as its use is fair without acquiring a license.
So using a piece of music in a once off performance would be fair but would depend on its precise use:
"Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
the nature of the copyrighted work;
the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors."
The best way to be sure is to contact the the copyright owner of all the music pieces and acquire a license of use if the work isn't in the public domain,doesn't exist under a creative commons license, or your use isn't fair but commercially exploitative of the owner's work.
Please follow up with me if you need more information.
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