[Smt-talk] FW: Music Plagiarism Cases

Julia Proleiko jproleiko at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 21 10:14:23 PST 2009

The entire passage, as I stated, was a quote from the section in Wikipedia on Plagiarism of ALW, therefore, neither do I claim authorship (wouldn't that just be ironic) nor necessarily agree with it. IMHO, I don't think ALW ever had an original idea, but it all sounds like ALW, so I can't quite bring myself to fully loathe him. (But, that's an entirely different thread!) 


I think an interesting topic of research would be more the number of lawsuits on grounds of plagiarism in relationship to how composers are/were paid (and perhaps relative to how many attorneys there are and how much they are paid from the the proceeds of the suit). I would hypothesize that there is positive feedback in these lawsuits, the only question is when it reaches a non-equalibrium state and gets into chaotic mode. It would be interesting to a have the opinion of a specialist in the theory of dynamic systems.


Julia Proleiko
St. Louis 

CC: smt-talk at societymusictheory.org
From: mozojo at gmail.com
Subject: Re: [Smt-talk] Music Plagiarism Cases
Date: Sun, 20 Dec 2009 10:08:31 -0500
To: jproleiko at hotmail.com

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. It has also been compared to Ravel's 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 Feurzeig
University of Vermont
Music Department

392 South Prospect St
Burlington, VT 05405-0144
dfeurzei at uvm.edu

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