Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Man Musicians Call When Two Tunes Sound Alike; New York Times, 10/11/16

Alex Marshall, New York Times; The Man Musicians Call When Two Tunes Sound Alike:
"People often hear similarities between songs when no copying has occurred, Mr. Bennett says. That should not be a surprise. Most songwriters follow a strict set of rules — songs being three to four minutes long or having four beats to a bar — so there is actually much scope for similarity. But the truth is that many songwriters do use other people’s music for inspiration.
“Society’s become enamored by the romantic myth of creativity,” he says. “The idea that inspiration comes to us in a genius-like way from God or the spirit or whatever. Often for songwriters, that is how it feels emotionally. But, of course, every songwriter is partly a product of their influences. Allowing yourself to be influenced by a song — just not copying the melody, chords or lyrics — is perfectly fine. I mean, isn’t that what songwriting actually is?”
Mr. Oxendale agrees. “A lot of famous songs have been created using reference tracks and there’s nothing wrong with that,” he says. “There would be no Beethoven without Haydn. Who would want to have lost his music?”"

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