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Building on tradition, stealing, or.... When is a song original enough?
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TOPIC: Building on tradition, stealing, or.... When is a song original enough?

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#133050
Building on tradition, stealing, or.... When is a song original enough? 4 Years, 7 Months ago  
Anyone who's a forum regular will know that David and I are on a song-writing adventure at the moment; basically a journey of self-discovery, creativity and just pure fun.

Lately, more and more we've found ourselves asking each other "does this sound too much like...?"; sometimes it's a specific song, sometimes it's just a feeling that you've heard it before, that it sounds too familiar.

I know I've been inspired by a couple of specific songs for a couple of songs I'm developing the bones for at the moment. For one, it's a melody, for the other a bassline that I've borrowed and then morphed into something a little different.

We all had to learn enough about the guitar and music generally to start playing. We're not doing this music thing in a vacuum. All of our music experiences have built and influenced the sorts of musicians we are. I imagine it's close to impossible to write a song that doesn't sound related to something.

The question I'm struggling with is "When is something an influence, or building on an idea and when is it stealing?" Well as David says, we won't be sued for the millions were making in our sound-writing endeavours. But without an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything that you might have "borrowed" from how do you know?

These and other deep question...

Anyone want to share your experiences in this area? It could be from your own song-writing experiences, something you've read or heard or maybe the experiences of someone you know?

I await your musings.

Shel
michelew
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#133051
Re: Building on tradition, stealing, or.... When is a song original enough? 4 Years, 7 Months ago  
Hi Michele,

This is a huge thing and I will gather some thoughts and get into this soon. But, my first response is don't worry about it until someone notices, or complains. I will elaborate soon with my song Papa's Guitar, for those who may not know the story. Plan A is write anything that comes to mind, worry about similarities later.

Practice writing.

Neil
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#133052
Re: Building on tradition, stealing, or.... When is a song original enough? 4 Years, 7 Months ago  
Thanks Neil! I love that response.

It might sound a little silly at this point since David and I are just at the beginning. But, it's great to have that as a rule of thumb "Write anything that comes to mind, worry about similarities later". I'm adopting it as a mantra.

I absolutely look forward to hear your thoughts on this subject.

Thanks and I hope you're having a wonderful Thanksgiving. Sorry to hear about your knee too. Make those kids of yours do some of the walking for you.

Michele

michelew
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So many things to learn, so many songs in my 'must learn queue' - if only I didn't have to sleep...wow...that would be great!
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#133066
Re: Building on tradition, stealing, or.... When is a song original enough? 4 Years, 7 Months ago  
It's funny how your experiences merge sometimes. This afternoon I started watching the music related TED talks that Pierre posted.

This is number two. Basically it says that all music is a remix.


www.ted.com/talks/kirby_ferguson_embrace_the_remix
michelew
Life's good - without music ...not so much...
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So many things to learn, so many songs in my 'must learn queue' - if only I didn't have to sleep...wow...that would be great!
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