Is incidental re-creation likely to happen in pop music?
In this study we try to address the question, if independent (re-)creations are likely to happen in pop music. The interest in this topic stems from the fact that the claim of an “independent creation” is a common defense strategy in copyright infringement law suits. We conducted a main experiment in which subjects were asked to invent short, “catchy” pop melodies to a given backing track over a very common chord sequence (I VI IV V). Additionally, we incorporated 5 melodies from hit songs over the same chords in a comparable tempo. The collected melodies were examined for similarities, between participants’ melodies and hit songs on the one hand and in between participants’ songs on the other. In each case at least two melody pairs with high similarity were found. A deeper analysis of these cases revealed that indeed independent (re-)creations might have taken place.
ConferenceESCOM 2009 : 7th Triennial Conference of European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music
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- ESCOM 2009