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Sampling vs plagarism

10.07.09 | 2 Comments

Reading the current flurry of comments on the blog has got me thinking about how music is shared but then I saw in the news yet another band that has been sued for sampling another’s work. Although this is a form of copying rather than redistribution I wonder whether this tight control by the original artist is a sign of a musically secure/mature artist or an insecure/greedy record company. In the past composers often lifted tunes or reworked whole works and it was often a mark of respect to the originator’s skill, now it seems to be taken as theft & an opportunity for money to be made.

To further add to the confusion artists now seem to sue if they hear something even vaguely similar to a tune they wrote. Naturally this trend only appears to be when a lesser known artist hears their motif in the song of a famous band.

This leads to wonder whether
a) composers are too precious about their music
b) If the whole motiv of writing has been taken over by the desire for fame & fortune
c) Modern composers can no longer take a compliment.
d) How many different ways can 12 notes be written to ensure originality each time
e) what’s the chance of two musicians writing similar style of music coming up with a similar tune

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