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
    RD, 24 Jan 2009 @ 12:17pm

    Just not getting it, are we?

    "To express an opinion on any subject of which you have limited knowledge is to potentially tell falsehoods. For instance:

    "The whole Coldplay/Joe Satriani copyright fight is pretty silly for a a variety of reasons."

    Do you know what constitutes a musical copyright infringement? If you have to look it up, you're too late. You should have known before you printed the opinion."

    Bzzt! Wrong again. So glad you could play, but if you wish to try again, you might want to first understand that opinions dont require facts. It helps, to be sure, but anyone is free to state their opinion about something, and it doesnt require that they even know the topic, its an O-P-I-N-I-O-N. And you cant prevent someone from making a fool of themselves, if indeed thats how you see this, and you certainly cant stop someone from being WRONG. As you yourself are. See how the circle of life works? Remember, when you point an accusing finger, four (or three, if the thumb doesnt cooperate) more are pointing back at YOU!

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