Writing someone else's song?

Mick Doobie

Resist We Much
Wasn't sure what to call the thread....

What to be done to determine whether something you've made-up/written has actually already been written by someone else? What to do? What do you do?

Context: At least fifty percent of the time I write in my head before even picking up an instrument. I was riding down the road and my mind went to one of my nephews who is a musician and actor, he has a wonderful voice. He tends to sing/play things such as Ed Sheeran type stuff. Within seconds of my nephew entering my head the song pretty much wrote itself in about 30 seconds. Admittedly it is a bit out of my wheelhouse, so to speak. I stopped by the house, verified the bass line/chord structure, played it for my wife, and she loved it. Left the house again and the thing bounced around in my head for a couple of hours. Then, poof, it was gone. Tried not to force it, but couldn't get it back. Alarm went off this morning and as soon as I turned the alarm off, boom, there it was again. Weird, but thankful.

I'm a bit suspicious for various reasons. Namely, although i've been pulling from many genres lately,, influences, this is different where as I don't typically gravitate to that sort of music. Besides the obvious, I just don't want to waste any time or invest anything into this thing if it's not mine.
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
There are so many songs out there already which have nearly identical music structure, just different lyrics and melodies. So I would only be concerned with your lyrics/melody being nearly identical. And then not overly concerned, unless they're pretty much exactly the same.

I would just go ahead and register your copyright and forget about it until 'big Ed' realizes what you've done and sics his lawyers on you.

p.s. If Ed does make the move, let me know 'cause I'd like to watch :eatpopcorn:
 
I don't know what can be done about it... but I say, just write and record the song... if it becomes a hit, you may have to add someone else's name to the credits... no big deal. Though I do know what you mean... sometimes I'll come up with a cool riff and I'm like... "am I just ripping off Black Sabbath?"
 

Mick Doobie

Resist We Much
We are a product of our influences. I typically don't sweat it. Even if someone says, "Hey, that sounds kind of like ____", or I recognize it myself. At times I may even embrace it. With this one, I guess that is why I kind of question it, because the genre of music if you will is not exactly among my influences. And it came pretty quickly. Melody, bass line, framework, accompanying chords still need a bit of work. No lyrics yet. Part of my nephew's schooling for acting included writing, scripts or whatever. I'm not sure if he would be interested, but I wouldn't want to hand off to him who is more familiar with that genre something that, well, you know...

I know there is such thing as a reverse image search on the netz. It'd be interesting if a similar thing could be done for music.
 

Mick Doobie

Resist We Much
I tried the google thing, saying "what's this song" then doing "dah dah dahs. Pretty wild, one came up that if you hold your head just right it vaguely resembles what I have. The other 2. either they have also yet to write lyrics, or they were in a foreign language. I think one was Japanese. lol

Shazam, it wasn't apparent to me how it is supposed to work to identify a song...by humming or whatever.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Shazzam isn't good at humming - I think part of the trick is how it is recognising harmonies and movement. I always try my recordings on it.
 

Mick Doobie

Resist We Much
I always immediately record my ideas on my phone so I don’t lose them. It’s saved me a couple times.

Yeah, my brother tells me I should do that. I've considered getting one of those little handhelds, zoom H6 I think it is. I went out of town last weekend and considered taking everything with me, had it all broken down but reconsidered. That's why I dropped by the house, to record the idea real quick, but then realized everything was still broken down.

Got things hooked up last night and did a demo of a demo of a demo. I don't know, i'm about over the song. Sissy music. I kid. I'll listen to my recorded voice one day and like it. Another day of the same recording and I don't like it, to put it politely. It's depressing. Seems I have to work at it more and more. Probably wouldn't hurt if I sang more often(and quit smoking :facepalm:) . Hell, one of the bands I played in back in the 90s, in addition to taking lead on some songs I sang a ton of backup, including a lot of falsetto to back up a female lead singer....females usually backed up by females. Had much more control than I can muster now. Anyway, end of confessions of a home recorder.

Truthfully, even though no lyrics yet, I think I would rather just give this one to somebody. Besides, I can't be arsed to hire a lawyer over sissy music. :D
 

Toddskins

Member
To the OP, might I suggest watching and listening to this 5-minute excerpt from the classic movie "Cyrano". Trust me, it's relevant. Especially at the 4-minute mark to the end at 4:56. But watch the whole thing. There's much to learn from this.

Background: Cyrano is Frenchman who is France's best swordsman, a poet, playright, musician, and wordsmith like no other. In the scene you are about to watch, Cyrano had just defended his baker friend for writing some poetry himself in the Gazette that angered the aristocracy and they sent a lot of hired thugs to take out the baker, who was Cyrano's friend. And now an aristocrat comes into the bar (?) where all the soldiers are gathered along with Cyrano and his captain. The captain who likes Cyrano and wants good for him, had been trying to get Cyrano to tell his hidden love (Roxanne) his feelings for her, but Cyrano has always been aware of his long nose and afraid of being mocked or laughed at by Roxanne -- the worst thing he can imagine.
One of the soldiers comes in with the lost hats (mockingly called "plumes" by the soldier, i.e. feathers of a bird flying away) of the thugs from last night.

The aristocrat was told by his uncle, a high up aristocrat, to try and get Cyrano onto their side for political reasons. They were all French, but just like all countries have political divisions. So that aristocrat comes into the bar and attempts to get Cyrano to join his following, and offering him a type of bribe to try and sway Cyrano. But Cyrano has integrity.

This is what happens:


 

Mick Doobie

Resist We Much
To the OP, might I suggest watching and listening to this 5-minute excerpt from the classic movie "Cyrano". Trust me, it's relevant. Especially at the 4-minute mark to the end at 4:56. But watch the whole thing. There's much to learn from this.

Background: Cyrano is Frenchman who is France's best swordsman, a poet, playright, musician, and wordsmith like no other. In the scene you are about to watch, Cyrano had just defended his baker friend for writing some poetry himself in the Gazette that angered the aristocracy and they sent a lot of hired thugs to take out the baker, who was Cyrano's friend. And now an aristocrat comes into the bar (?) where all the soldiers are gathered along with Cyrano and his captain. The captain who likes Cyrano and wants good for him, had been trying to get Cyrano to tell his hidden love (Roxanne) his feelings for her, but Cyrano has always been aware of his long nose and afraid of being mocked or laughed at by Roxanne -- the worst thing he can imagine.
One of the soldiers comes in with the lost hats (mockingly called "plumes" by the soldier, i.e. feathers of a bird flying away) of the thugs from last night.

The aristocrat was told by his uncle, a high up aristocrat, to try and get Cyrano onto their side for political reasons. They were all French, but just like all countries have political divisions. So that aristocrat comes into the bar and attempts to get Cyrano to join his following, and offering him a type of bribe to try and sway Cyrano. But Cyrano has integrity.

This is what happens:


Interesting. Although i'm not entirely sure what you're getting at, I appreciate you taking the time.

Speaking of swashbucklers, here's a photo of the nephew I was speaking of doing his acting gig with a touring company. The pandemic kind of put a halt to things there, hopefully things will get back on track. I would post a vid of him playing geetar and singing, but wouldn't want to do that without permission. A talented kid.....young man.

(photo deleted for privacy purposes, so here's a photo of a llama wearing a hat)

llama wearing a hat.jpg
 
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Mick Doobie

Resist We Much
Crap. For some reason I can't edit it out. I click edit and it's not there to remove. Confused, and now I feel the llama is mocking my impotence.

En garde, you loathsome beast! I shall pen a shanty which will forever more scatter your seed in the highlands far from the sea.
 

Mick Doobie

Resist We Much
I've decided the song is worth further consideration. I played it for others in the younger generation of family, they seemed to like it, said they'd never heard it before, and even said it sounded like something (my nephew) might sing. So I have another in the works that came quite easily to accompany the one in question. Same type genre, while not necessarily danceable, rhythmic. A nice pairing. I would prefer leaving lyrics to him.

He lives in NYC, and I live away from my (our) hometown, so we're rarely in the same place. It's a bit difficult to work out a collab.
 
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