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Jedi QuestMaster

Composing Music that Already Exists

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Lots of people do that. If I remember my music history class correctly (which I probably don't, but anyway) I think Stravinsky even got himself into minor trouble once, accidentally using a melody from some pop tune that he heard an organ grinder playing outside his window or something.

I've also sometimes done what you might think of as the reverse - I hear some melody I like in a soundtrack or something but I can't get ahold of a recording right away, so I try to come up with something similar from what I remember, and extrapolate on it, and when I finally hear the original again I realize what I wrote is so far removed from it that I have a new composition on my hands.

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I've been in that situation many times before, but it's not always clear if its cryptomnesia or just coincidence. There's so many ways one can come in contact with music, so its difficult to say whether I had heard the supposed source tune prior to writing.

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hahahaha this happens all the time.

Hell, I do this so much.

alot of my remixes on ocr resemble certain pieces of music already written, but I find that making pieces of music that resemble already existing pieces of music is a great way to learn.

And the whole elecman theme resembling journey and apparently REM (I wouldn't know about that one) that melodic phrase in the melody is used so much in mainstream music its crazy :P I've heard that in so many pieces of music :P

I find it interesting because you hear things subconsciously, like maybe a piece of music on the radio in the background, you hear that piece of music in your head later, or something resembling it, then you think you've made it up as a result because you can't remember where you heard it or if you heard it at all.

I remember hearing a piano piece played by a pupil in a piano lesson before me, and I used that melody in a school project later that week without realising I hadn't written it. Then when I went for my lesson the next week, I heard this same piano piece again and realized that i'd used part of that piece of music in my project, without even realising i'd done it :D

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Here's one that I had no clue sounded like something else. I mean, my brother pointed it out and I actually argued about it, saying I didn't rip it off of another game. Silly me.

10 point to whomever guesses what VG track this sounds like :tomatoface:.

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Sometimes a lot of songs I think up of are heavily based on some tune I heard from somewhere, whether it be church, another game, a TV Show....

However, I like to think at the very least after enough morphings and modulations, I can somewhat say that the finished product is my own.

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If it's a pretty complex piece, then yeah it's an unfortunate coincidence.

Sometimes I'll end up writing something that comes to me, only to realize I was subconsciously thinking of some other piece. But from there, I might tweak it enough such that it could pass as being "inspired by" said piece.

The thing is, simple rock melodies are based on patterns that are older than the fucking hills, so if one comes up with a simple riff that isn't particularly groundbreaking, it's likely that someone else has done it before.

It'd be interesting to write a simplistic I - vi - ii - V - I progression and see what different people are reminded of. Someone who likes sociology should do an experiment like that.

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Here's one that I had no clue sounded like something else. I mean, my brother pointed it out and I actually argued about it, saying I didn't rip it off of another game. Silly me.

10 point to whomever guesses what VG track this sounds like :tomatoface:.

Woo! I want my points!

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The closest I've come to this is when I was recording my character's lines for my game, Relics of Nature's Fury, I decided to yell out TRANSFORM! Turns out I was subliminally inspired by Axl from Mega Man X8... :P

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Totally wrote Eric Satie's Gymnopedie for a guitar class thinking I was just lightly ripping off an anime.

I played it for a the class and the teacher then picked it off a shelf and played it off a CD. Busted. Got a 0.

It is that day you should have changed your name to "Even More Ashamed of Self."

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If I remember my music history class correctly (which I probably don't, but anyway) I think Stravinsky even got himself into minor trouble once, accidentally using a melody from some pop tune that he heard an organ grinder playing outside his window or something.

If I remember MY music history classes right, I think that was sort of Stravinsky's thing. I mean, he made a big deal about how he was only inspired by Russian folk music, but he never used any of it directly, and then a bunch of musicologists came along and were like, "Actually all of these are known folk tunes."

So if he can do it, we totally can.

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Well, Stravinsky DID say "good artists borrow. Great ones steal outright."

And LOTS of old classical guys used folk tunes sometimes verbatim; like Bela Bartok, for one.

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I was working on a track back when I had just started making electronic music. I showed the WIP to my good friend, and when I got to the chorus she just started laughing.

Now, the song was a pretty serious thing for me. I had worked on it for about 3 days by then, and wasn't exactly pleased with her mocking my hard work. When I asked her what she found so funny, she told me straight up that the chorus sounded exactly liked the chorus from "I Kissed A Girl." Did an A/B comparison and haven't been able to resume work on that one since...

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Whoa :shock:

Glad I'm not the only one.

If you think that's bad enough, listen 8 seconds into the remix here:

http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR00869/ (listen for low choir-aahs/strings)

& then listen 7 seconds into another track I made for the same RPG project:

http://www.box.net/files#/files/0/f/0/1/f_424116320

Just wondering, is that part of the remix or was it actually in the game? (If you were able to hear it.)

I swear, I only experienced Tomb Raider once, & I don't remember if it was the first or the second one (this was 10 years ago!).

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I made music for this game. Suddenly I found myself having written the intro to The Moon from Ducktales. It's still in there, modified, a minute or two into one of the tracks. ;)

And then there's the time, years before I came to ocr, when I was just writing and ended up with something I thought was from dkc2. I knew I had copied something, just not sure what at the time. And now I don't remember it. Great example, me.

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