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Old 07-13-2021, 10:58 AM
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Default When a riff/melody SEEMS familiar?

If you come up with a melody line or riff and it seems kind of familiar, but you can't for the life of you place it, do you go with it anyway or do you have some way of researching it?
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Old 07-13-2021, 11:06 AM
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I haven't tried it, but apparently the SoundHound app will tell you if your riff already exists in another tune.
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Old 07-13-2021, 12:24 PM
jseth jseth is offline
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There have certainly been times when a "new song" has come to me - a riff, a figure, a melody line, even words - and I've realized that it's close to something I've heard along the way... not surprising, given that Western music only has so many notes and they've ALL been used, many, many times in the past several hundred years!

If what I've "come up with" is really similar to an already existing tune, I'll scrap it... BUT, if it's just vaguely reminiscent of some other song, I'll continue with it, making sure that I don't go any further into actually mimicking the "other" song.

What's that line (from Picasso?) - Good artists borrow, but GREAT artists steal!

For those times when I can't quite put my finger on what other song mine reminds me of, I just keep going with it until the source of my theft becomes obvious... sometimes it takes a while, but I always seem to remember in time...
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Old 07-13-2021, 04:57 PM
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I had Hit The Road Jack in my play list and I had been doing it a long time. Then one day one of my band mates came in and wanted to play Stray Cat Strut. It took once through to realize we knew most of the song already. Much of it was the same chord progression as Hit The Road Jack. Lots of songs share chord progressions, melody lines, and riffs. I don't know where the line is drawn. I'm not a song writer. But I am a singer and I come across a lot of songs that share.
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Old 07-13-2021, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rllink View Post
I had Hit The Road Jack in my play list and I had been doing it a long time. Then one day one of my band mates came in and wanted to play Stray Cat Strut. It took once through to realize we knew most of the song already. Much of it was the same chord progression as Hit The Road Jack.
That, and dozens of others:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...usian_cadences
(Not all with the same harmonic rhythm, but all have the same I-bVII-bVI-V progression somewhere.)
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Old 07-13-2021, 05:18 PM
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David Eastwood David Eastwood is offline
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A few years ago, I was noodling around and came up with a melody that stuck in my head. It was a little familiar, but I was convinced that I had a new tune in the making.

It was only as I was walking upstairs later the same day that I realized that Bill Withers had already written “Lean On Me”.

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Old 07-13-2021, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Eastwood View Post
A few years ago, I was noodling around and came up with a melody that stuck in my head. It was a little familiar, but I was convinced that I had a new tune in the making.

It was only as I was walking upstairs later the same day that I realized that Bill Withers had already written “Lean On Me”.

Yes, but perhaps your version was better!
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Old 07-14-2021, 03:59 AM
Andy Howell Andy Howell is offline
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I almost certainly have!

Steve Roud's comprehensive history of English traditional music has a couple of interesting sections on melodies and tunes. He quotes an academic study (from the US) which set out to categorise and analyse traditional tunes, those that you often find in English, Scottish, Irish and US trad music. Apparently, they could group tunes into just 12 groups!

Adding riffs and rythmns complicates things a bit but you get the drift.

Copywrite obsession is, I suspect,something developed by lawyers!
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Old 07-27-2021, 09:51 PM
jeanray1113 jeanray1113 is offline
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How can there not be pieces of music that resemble other pieces of music? Outright plagiarism is one thing, but given an infinite number of notes in the Western chromatic scale, it’s inevitable that songwriters are going to create music that is similar to something previously created. I remember reading that George Harrison was charged with plagiarism. The judge found him guilty, but specified that he believed it to be “unintentional.” Patti Boyd wrote in her book that he was so devastated by this that he stopped listening to the radio out of fear of it happening again. How sad is that?
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Old 08-06-2021, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rllink View Post
I had Hit The Road Jack in my play list and I had been doing it a long time. Then one day one of my band mates came in and wanted to play Stray Cat Strut. It took once through to realize we knew most of the song already. Much of it was the same chord progression as Hit The Road Jack. Lots of songs share chord progressions, melody lines, and riffs. I don't know where the line is drawn. I'm not a song writer. But I am a singer and I come across a lot of songs that share.
Just off the top of my head I think both Green Day and the Ventures also use that chord progress, the former on a couple different tunes.

I think if shared chord progressions counted as plagiarism, blues and bluegrass music as a whole would have ground to a halt decades ago.
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