[Smt-talk] Music Plagiarism Cases

Deborah Burton burtond at bu.edu
Mon Dec 21 05:41:07 PST 2009

I haven't been following the discussion closely so perhaps someone has 
already mentioned Lloyd Webber's lifting of a tune from Puccini's 
"Fanciulla del West" for his "Phantom of the Opera" or John Williams's 
lifting of Strauss's "Death and Transfiguration" for "Superman".

Deborah Burton
Boston University
855 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
burtond at bu.edu

David Feurzeig wrote:
> On Dec 18, 2009, at 4:35 PM, Julia Proleiko wrote:
>> The opening theme of /Memory/ from /Cats/ resembles the opening theme 
>> in the flute solo of /California Dreaming/ by The Mamas & The Papas 
>> </wiki/The_Mamas_%26_The_Papas>. It has also been compared to 
>> Ravel's Bolero </wiki/Bolero>.
> I am not a big ALW fan myself, nor does he need any champions, but 
> this example is not striking. Such similarities are rife in tonal 
> music. They're probably mostly unintentional, and even if intentional, 
> short enough to be of dubious significance in terms of artistic 
> integrity. 
> Besides (IMHO), the opening melody of "Memory," the "California 
> Dreaming" flute solo, and the "Bolero" theme, are all really awful 
> tunes! Composers should get points, not demerits, if they can make 
> something of them. (I have a hunch Ravel would agree.)
> David
> David Feurzeig
> University of Vermont
> Music Department
> 392 South Prospect St
> Burlington, VT 05405-0144
> dfeurzei at uvm.edu <mailto:dfeurzei at uvm.edu>
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