A question for those knowledgeable about copyright law.

Of course I’m going to consult our university’s attorney, but wanted to see if this started any interesting discussions. For my MA thesis, I transcribed (in music notation and text) the recorded musical performances of John Kameaaloha Almeida. John passed away 18 years ago, and a couple of the songs were written as recently as 1977. I want to post the transcriptions as .pdfs on the web, but not sure if it would possibly constsitute a copyright infringement. Are transcriptions of copyrighted songs, with their inherent limitations and possible errors, copyrightable themselves? I’m also going to try to contact John’s decendants or those who might hold the copyright, but if that fails, am I opening myself to possible litigation if they should show up at my door someday?

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