There's Only So Many Ways To Combine Chords...

from the so-stop-worrying-about-copying dept

The whole Coldplay/Joe Satriani copyright fight is pretty silly for a a variety of reasons. Yes, there are some similarities, but there's a ton of stuff in music that sounds the same. There's a great chapter in James Boyle's The Public Domain all about Ray Charles' song I Got A Woman, where Boyle goes back in time to show how Charles' song basically copies from a few others (in some cases rather blatantly) in order to effectively invent soul music. Then he moves forward and looks at how others have built off of Charle's song as well. You can read the whole chapter (and, indeed, the whole book) online. The chapter in question is Chapter 6: I Got a Mashup.

Then, of course, many folks have seen the comedian who points out how many songs are based on the same basic progression as Pachelbel's Canon in D:


Along those lines, reader Bill Squire has sent in this similar video about how many songs use the same basic chord progression as Journey's Don't Stop Believing:
And yet, now some people are worried that one musician has come up with a similar song?

Filed Under: chords, humor, music, similarity


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2009 @ 9:32pm

    Re: Re: Rights

    True, you are making comments in your area of expertise, but then use as an example a situation where an experienced musician is able to analyze the factual representations made by the adverse parties to the lawsuit.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, he does make a valid point that those who work in the musical field are the ones best positioned to analyze the facts and draw conclusions based on their analysis. It is analyses by those who are deemed experts in the field of music that will be relied upon by the judge and jury to make their decision.

    The fact you may consider them stupid laws and stupid business models will carry not a whit of weight in how the lawsuit is eventually resolved.

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