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Old 11-01-2007, 01:01 PM
123four!!! 123four!!! is offline
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Question When you think you wrote it, but may have heard it before - can anyone help?

I sure hope I'm not the only one, but the more licks and chord progressions that I learn, the more I find myself beating out instrumental pieces which seem to be my own music - at least I think they are for not being anything which I aspired to imitate, but then the reasonable doubt starts creeping in. At age forty, I never wrote any songs, so unless I just needed more time with a guitar while learning some of the theory behind music, I'm a little old to just start doing this. Having heard so many songs, some of them more than twenty years ago, how can I know that I didn't get what I seem to have composed directly from something which played from a long-dormant storage cell in my head without the background info (if I ever even knew it)?

Has anyone used a website, program, or anything which could analyze your input for similarity with anything in a database of copyrighted material? Something easy to use, like using your keyboard to punch in the melody, piano style?

Many thanks to anyone who can help.

Dave
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Old 11-01-2007, 01:37 PM
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Even just by chance, let alone borrowing, everything you could come with (unless it's really weird I guess) is going to be similar to something already done. Same thing goes for lyrics. I would not worry about it.
Rick
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:14 PM
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Record it, release it, and if anybody sues you, you'll know.
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:16 PM
SongwriterFan SongwriterFan is offline
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Just avoid the I, IV, V7, vi, and ii chords, and you'll probably be fine.
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Old 11-01-2007, 04:10 PM
Lonny Lonny is offline
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Several years ago after weeks of whistling what I thought was an inspired melody, I was devastated when I heard on the radio the exact melody I had been whistling (and thought I had created). When the piece ended, the announcer said "that was George Gershwin's Summertime."
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:57 PM
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It's called "influence", nothing to worry about. There was one chord change in my song "Simple Things" that someone said sounded like Dust In The Wind. What really disappointed me was that it was even pointed out as it was a simple chord change that no one can have a copyright on. Now everytime I play it, it reminds me of Dust In The Wind, LOL.
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Old 11-02-2007, 05:26 AM
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Twenty-seven years ago I wrote a song with a particular chord progression intro. A week ago I heard a TV commercial with a jingle that started almost exactly the same way. I refuse to be bummed because mine was first and sounds better!

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Old 11-03-2007, 11:35 AM
123four!!! 123four!!! is offline
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I agree with TBman and Bob Womack that there's no point in worrying about similar chord progressions. This is something you can't copyright - if you could, than "Louie Louie" and "Wild Thing" would not both exist, and nobody could legally write anything on the basic I IV V progression.

But what Lonnie described isn't quite the same, and it's been known to happen to a few respected recording artists too. Spending more time making your own music and less time listening to others on the radio can make this possible.

Even without that concern, there are still melodies which I KNOW I've heard before (maybe a B-side or album track from my father's turntable as a kid) and may never find the source. So I'm as much interested in satisfying my curiosity as playing safe.

Google found a sight called "Tune Finder" which can look up tunes by title or author, but has an option which I think can find the above information from a "perl pattern" which represents the tune. I don't know how difficult the "perl" language is to learn, nor if it's worth the trouble for this site, and then if this is what it seems to be, then why it wouldn't be made easier to use. Perhaps it's absurd to expect information on all songs which ever were recorded to be linked on one site, but then how many of them don't eventually get owned and catalogued by Polygram anyway? And if this site is what it seems to be, I just can't believe that tone-recognition is too high tech for a modern website (which I doubt this one is). Anyway, there must be a reason if what I want isn't out there.

Thanks for sharing your stories. Oh, by the way, I had such an experience happen way back when my noodling produced an EDCB progression, four beats in between with specific pentatonic notes on the second, third, and fourth beat, and I thought it was great until my dorm mate told me it was by a punk-edged girl-group called "The Bangles". Most young men don't knowingly aspire to imitate girl groups already past their prime, therefore it was awkward, but still I'll give credit where it's due.

Dave
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:05 PM
Long Jon Long Jon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonny View Post
Several years ago after weeks of whistling what I thought was an inspired melody, I was devastated when I heard on the radio the exact melody I had been whistling (and thought I had created). When the piece ended, the announcer said "that was George Gershwin's Summertime."
Understand how you must've felt Lonny.
Same thing happened to me, went to someone's party recently and EVERYBODY started singing "Happy Birthday to You".
I was convinced I'd come up with that one myself....
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:01 PM
delaorden9 delaorden9 is offline
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In my view, in popular music almost everything is a copy or similar of some song already written or composed. Specially nowadays I can't see any difference among most of the so called pop stars. It is all about a slight variation, not real creation....take a look at funk music, rap music, or the pop music sung by Rihana, Beyoncè, Spears and all that people. They look all the same. The music industry is only interested in "poor" ears ; the less demanding the better. Even great bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, were accused of plagiarism .... maybe they did not mean it, maybe just rung a bell and they went on with the song.....anyway, today nothing is created, all is copied.
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