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playing off of other pieces

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playing off of other pieces

Post by rbacl on Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:03 am

When I sit at the piano and practice my imagination, sometimes bits of pieces known to me visit my mind. I feel tempted to play off of those a bit, but then I think, if I do that, I'm short-changing myself, and shouldn't I make an original start. On the other hand, is there a benefit to playing off of known motifs? How do you view it?

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Re: playing off of other pieces

Post by VictorCS on Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:54 pm

Hard question I guess, because whatever you play has probably been played before. But that doesnt mean you cant put it in your piece.

Lets say you have a little motif that popped up inside your head, that you know is from a known song, why not try to bend it, make it different or blend it into whatever you're playing. I dont encourage you to steal, but to make use of it. Great ideas usually come from other ideas. Even if it used before, noone says you cant use it again.

It's like if you're really inspired by an artist and how he/she does sound, and wanna make a song that has that sound, you copy how the artists write their pieces.

A norwegian musician, Alejandro Fuentes, said on TV once that he could write a song, and suddenly feel that his song was just copy of another song, but as he worked more and more, it became his own.
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Re: playing off of other pieces

Post by Pianoted on Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:48 pm

That is a very, very good question, VictorCS. I've often wondered about this myself. Every now and then I hear about this or that artist suing another, for stealing his or her song, at least a part of it and using it in a new song.

I cannot answer which thumb rules apply about this. Right now I'm studying an online course which teaches about the basic riffs and techniques used in many popular songs.

We know that nobody has a patent for the C, A-minor, F and G chords, but an artist might have a copyright through some song on a particular sequence of those same chords. In this course I mentioned it's said that the chord progression C-Am-F-G is used in countless songs.

How complicated does a chord progression have to be to make an artist able to claim copyright over it? Hope someone more experienced can answer these questions asked here.
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Re: playing off of other pieces

Post by rbacl on Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:02 am

I meant from the standpoint of boosting one's imaginative development. I wouldn't try to publish something that sounded like something else in any case. So mainly I just mean the mental side of it.

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Re: playing off of other pieces

Post by Pianoted on Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:55 am

It's not wrong to use other artist's music to get inspiration or learn from them, on the contrary it would be foolish not to do so. I was just elaborating on what VictorCS was talking about.

In fact the Wikipedia article about God Save The Queen says that as noted composers as Beethoven, Haydn, Clementi and Bach (junior, the son of J.S. Bach) all used the anthem in their works, either based on it or quoted it as it is called.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_save_the_queen

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Re: playing off of other pieces

Post by rbacl on Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:49 am

Ah, okay-- so you think it would be good for one's imaginative development? Whenever I realize that what I'm playing is vaguely inspired by a riff I'm familiar with, I immediately stop and wait until I have an idea of my own.

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Re: playing off of other pieces

Post by VictorCS on Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:34 am

rbacl wrote:you think it would be good for one's imaginative development?

Yes, I think. No, you shall not steal others music, but create something off their ideas. You basically usually do even tho you dont know. If you go outside tomorrow, your mind will snap up stuff from the environment subconsciously. Inspiration cant appear from nothing, I guess your ideas arent really yours ^_^




A good example of "stealing" someones piece, in other words, make it the foundation of your own piece. It shines through as as a song that could've been made by Neil Zaza, but it's still a different one. "Stealing" ideas ( techiniques, shapes, playstyle ) isnt the same as letting your creativity go or breaking copyrights. It's about using an already used idea and make it your own.






This one is quite questionable, but it's kinda quite different when you've heard them a few times. Alot of the same rythms and progressions, but totally different vibe and lyrics ^_^



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