Accidental Plagiarism

Songwriting, songwriters, etc

Moderators: admin, mdc, TAXIstaff

KevCav333
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 1:17 am
Contact:

Re: Accidental Plagiarism

Post by KevCav333 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:31 am

Hands down - I have recorded a demo of a song and someone will say - I think I have "this part of the song before....." Then I let that comment sit for a few days THEN I realize I lifted the verse from something I WROTE years ago............urghhhh!

NaeDae
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:01 pm
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: Accidental Plagiarism

Post by NaeDae » Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:05 am

admin wrote:I just saw this thread and thought I'd add something I read years ago. Melodies become ingrained after we hear them over and over. Though we may not hear them for years, they live in the recesses of our minds, only to pop up when writing a song. Makes sense, and I don't doubt that similarities are unintentional.

We hear submissions somewhat often at TAXI where the song as a whole may not sound like it was "borrowed," and probably not intentionally, from another song. The problem may or may not be a legal one depending on several factors, but when listeners hear even a short melody go by and ask, "Haven't I heard that somewhere before?" the song becomes less likely to get cut or become a hit.

Then again, The Beatles were definitely influenced by Carl Perkins, Elvis, Chuck Berry and others, and things seemed to work out well for them ;-)

If your song sounds TOO familiar, move on, IMHO. Stylistic influences are one thing, familiar melodies are another.

Best,
Michael
That new Paul McCartney song FourFive Seconds sounds EXACTLY like "Slippin' Into the Lava" from the Jonas Brothers. The thing is, even though it used the same melody (I'm assuming by complete accident), McCartney used his experience to make a well-crafted song from that material, all while writing his own verses that weren't from the same source. That song went on to do really well.

I've gotten a good ear for hearing something and saying "THAT part sounds like THIS song" and when I'm writing, I'll just continue on, changing it a little, while crafting a completely different song from the material that's similar to something else.

stevetwosheds
Getting Busy
Getting Busy
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:03 pm
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: Accidental Plagiarism

Post by stevetwosheds » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:44 pm

Confession - I once accidentally pinched the start line tune of "We're on the road to nowhere" on a song that had just been signed with excitement, till the boss rang me with his concerns - Even though on paper two notes were different, it didn't help once the similarity was noticed - You can never forget it isn't really your tune - it's painful but was my fault - obviously - They went ahead and recorded it but it was soon shelved like all the rest.

I'm confused - as usual

By rights, this shouldn't happen - according to a mathematician / musician who calculated how many 16 note tunes could be composed using two octaves, no leaps greater than an octave, no unusually small note lengths - Can't recall his exact wording but it was a lengthy online explanation how he went about calculating how many potential tunes there are...

...I'm not sure whether his calculations are valid, (It might ave been more useful to know how many SIX note tunes there are - a typical line length) I'm just putting it out there because it's interesting, even though I'm sure we can poke holes in it all day - But can anyone guess the number he arrived at? A number so large that the human mind wouldn't be able to grasp it without a physical comparison (and more zero's than I can remember - a few billion billion billion - give or take a billion billion)

He reckoned it was more than there are ATOMS IN THE EARTH (he explained that calculation too) - I don't know how many atoms there are in a finger nail but I would GUESS more than songs that have ever been written.

Since then, I can't look at anything without imagining how many atoms it is made of, - a rock, a building, a mountain (on TV - not many mountains in England!) and going bald through scratching my head over his claim.

Then I listen to Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj singing BANG BANG (going back a bit, I know) and wonder why the chorus starts with the pretty much the same tune as the start line of WAKE ME UP BEFORE YOU GO GO, of all things...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HDdjwpPM3Y Bang Bang

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIgZ7gMze7A Wake me up...

Then I wonder how Paloma Faith had pretty much the same tune line at the start of one of her songs - CAN'T RELY ON YOU.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imi9Smkt_cI

My confusion?

I genuinely don't know if I'm being picky - or hearing problems that don't exist - I just know that if I used those same five or six notes in succession with slight rhythmic variation perhaps and used in a totally new way, I'd feel stupid trying to get away with it and wouldn't derive much pleasure from my efforts.

Yet at the same time, a bit of me almost applauds Jessie Jay etc for making a GREAT record from essentially the same tune - it doesn't feel wrong, it just feels like GREAT recycling - Like I believe the judge said to George Harrison over MY SWEET LORD "I like your song better" to which I understand he said "You just ruled that it wasn't my song" - or so I was told.

I'm not sure how I'd feel if it was my tune though - if I was as rich as George Michael, I wouldn't care - if I was struggling to pay bills, I might be resentful but would just live with it the same as with anything else that someone "borrowed" and deprived me of. I've lost greater things than a few notes and learned to accept that life isn't "fair" and it isn't worth worrying about because, hey, I'm still alive and there are no pockets in a shroud.

But I'm STILL wondering how many VIABLE tunes there really are - Because I'm sure 99.99999% or whatever of the tunes supposedly possible using that guy's methodology would be completely useless as hit tunes - Or am I wrong yet again??? In 500 years could hit tunes be so bizarre as to make any of those X billion tunes completely viable? Or would people still be "borrowing" the opening line of WAKE ME UP BEFORE YOU GO GO ? or WON'T BACK DOWN almost in it's entirety?

It's a very confusing world !!!

I wish I'd been born a hamster - He seems so happy in his wheel, not thinking about stupid stuff like this.

Time I did some actual work today - I've become bone idle.

Steve(twoslates short of a roof)

User avatar
mojobone
King of the World
King of the World
Posts: 11810
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 4:20 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Up in Indiana, where the tall corn grows
Contact:

Re: Accidental Plagiarism

Post by mojobone » Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:28 am

You forgot J. Geils' "Freeze Frame", LOL. It's actually a pretty familiar horn riff; you hear it everywhere.
The Straight Stuff; Roots, Rock & Soul

http://twangfu.wordpress.com
http://twitter.com/mojo_bone

xanadumusic
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:03 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: Accidental Plagiarism

Post by xanadumusic » Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:04 am

Hi you state that the chord progression is dictated by the chord progressions Yes of course but
the permutations are limitless

As you state with a few subtle changes , any established melody can be changed till its unrecognised

User avatar
cassmcentee
Serious Musician
Serious Musician
Posts: 3243
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:40 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: Accidental Plagiarism

Post by cassmcentee » Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:58 am

...a million typing monkeys
...bangin' away
...will one day give us
...Bach's concertos...
...or?
...will they? :lol:

I just keep bangin'
...Bangin' away

xanadumusic
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:03 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: Accidental Plagiarism

Post by xanadumusic » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:35 am

Most PRO song writers analyse other hits and change a few notes , to the chorus

they also change the meter of the original elongating some and shortening others

eventually as the song evolves they end up with something almost completely

original , re writing the verses to suit the New Hook

I have worn the Demo Listeners Hat more times than I can remember, how little

some writers have learned . whilst attempting to do something worthwhile.

Why Learning Writers get so upset when their work is rejected amazes me

Just imagine taking ten of your best songs in multi genres and working on each one

every day for say five years ? I guarantee if you could discipline yourself

to do that you would end up with songs well worth pitching

Most would say no I cant work like that , it's one song at a time

But they are wrong, the Music World of Pro Song Writers usually work that way

I am not talking about Staff Writers who have done their apprenticeships

I am talking about writers who are learning the art

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests