[LAU] WG: [slightly OT] Musical citation (what is allowed?)

Hartmut Noack zettberlin at linuxuse.de
Fri Dec 2 11:56:34 UTC 2011

Am 01.12.2011 09:15, schrieb Louigi Verona:
> I second what Ralf says.
> There is a nice Russian article on the subject. Shortly speaking, it is
> about the fact that art has always been standing on other artists'
> shoulders. But now such a stance is denied to artists and it is sometimes
> even deemed shameful if you are using synth presets, instead of coming up
> with your own. So the article speaks of how the cult of originality has
> toned down creativity and that songwriters spend too much time trying to
> make original presets and arrangements instead of writing songs and how
> much time is spent in doing something original just for the sake of
> originality.
> I am very much with what the author says. I do not see a problem with
> anyone using another composer's melody. In fact, isn't this is what
> composers write songs for, so that people can play and sing them?

To cite someone elses work is a most important technique in arts. 
Beginning with a simple parody up to zeniths like Mahlers variations on 
a theme from Bach and Charles Mingus playing american songbook standards.

> Indeed, economical thinking has distorted perception of art greatly with
> this concept of originality.

Its economics, indeed. And it is NOT originality or authorship as a 
wrong concept. If I cite/adapt someone, I keep my listeners informed 
that I do -- that is a matter of respect for me. Andi it does not 
diminish my own part of the work at all.

The problem is: if there is someone, that wants to cash in for a 
citation, many musicians dump respect for the original authors simply to 
avoid weasel-bites.

Longer sampling can be and covers are another matter: as soon as you 
make money with a piece building upon long samples or that you cover, 
you should pay a share to the original authors/producers.

best regards


> Cheers!
> Louigi.
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