Ongoing History of New Music

Published on October 21st, 2016 | by Alan Cross

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The Ongoing History of New Music, Episode 764: Unfortunate Sonic Coincidences

It’s happened to all of us. We hear a new song and go “Hey! That sounds just like [insert title of older song here]! That’s weird/wrong/a ripoff! Someone should do something?”

Well, hang on. It’s actually not that simple. There are only so many pleasing ways we can combine the notes of our 12-tone scale. There’s bound to be cases of repetition and independent discovery of certain arrangements and melodies. And not everything in a song is protected from being copied by someone else.

This is the thrust behind what I call “unfortunate sonic coincidences,” occasions where two songs seem to sound alike but actually feature pronounced differences. Most of the time. Then we have cases where there’s no doubt that a call has to be made to the lawyers. And when things finally do get to court, the procedures and rules of evidence aren’t exactly what you thought they might be. I think you’ll find the whole issue of alleged plagiarism rather interesting.

Songs featured in this week’s show include:

The Offspring, “Why Don’t You Get a Job?”

Beatles, “Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da”

Oasis, “Shakermaker”

The New Seekers, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”Coldplay, “Viva La Vida”

Coldplay, “Viva La Vida”

Joe Satriani, “If I Could Fly”

Sum 41, “Still Waiting”

Nek, “Al Menos Ahora”

Tom Petty, “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”

RCHP, “Dani California”

Killing Joke, “Eighties”

Nirvana, “Come As You Are”

John Denver, “Leaving on a Jet Plane”

New Order, “Run”

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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