Thread: Do these melodies sound similar to you?

    • 9 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 164
    First watch: "Play Safe", a classic cartoon, please. It was first released to theaters in 1936. Pay close attention to the "theme song" of the cartoon (from beginning until 1:15).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUgyWhKlH78


    Then watch this classic TV commercial from the late 1950's/early 1960's, please.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExSlyoVTX3I


    Is it just me, or did the cartoon influence the producers of the commerical? Not only do the melodies sound alike, both of them deal with trains. Is there a connection between the two, or is it a coincidence? :

    Any help would be appreciated!


    Sincerely, Steve B.
  • avatar
    • 9 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 611
    They don't sound anything alike.
  • avatar
    • 9 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 3803
    I agree, there's no similarity.
  • avatar
    • 9 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 713
    Notes are notes are notes ... could these be words to live by in the realm of music now and then?
    "I am such a purist for old information on anything '70s and '80s."
  • avatar
    • 9 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 7014
    Quote by triviaprofessor


    Is it just me, or did the cartoon influence the producers of the commerical? Not only do the melodies sound alike, both of them deal with trains. Is there a connection between the two, or is it a coincidence? :

    Any help would be appreciated!


    Sincerely, Steve B.




    Whoa, you've got a great ear for music.

    What you have on the cartoon are variations on a single musical theme but the orchestration is so widely varied that I had to listen several times to catch the phrasing. That piece is varing by cadence, melody, pitch and duration.

    And yet I can hear that musical theme carry throughout the cartoon as well as in the TV commercial, which plays around with the theme as well.

    Btw, that music phrase sounds very familiar to me. I've heard it used in commercials for a line of hair care products in the 1960's and a diet drink mix in the 1970's.

    For the diet drink mix the lyrics went something like:
    "skinny girls . . . how do they do it?"
    The Eldorado is dead. Long live the Eldorado.
  • avatar
    • 9 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 3803
    Quote by eddstarr88
    Quote by triviaprofessor


    Is it just me, or did the cartoon influence the producers of the commerical? Not only do the melodies sound alike, both of them deal with trains. Is there a connection between the two, or is it a coincidence? :

    Any help would be appreciated!


    Sincerely, Steve B.




    Whoa, you've got a great ear for music.

    What you have on the cartoon are variations on a single musical theme but the orchestration is so widely varied that I had to listen several times to catch the phrasing. That piece is varing by cadence, melody, pitch and duration.

    And yet I can hear that musical theme carry throughout the cartoon as well as in the TV commercial, which plays around with the theme as well.

    Btw, that music phrase sounds very familiar to me. I've heard it used in commercials for a line of hair care products in the 1960's and a diet drink mix in the 1970's.

    For the diet drink mix the lyrics went something like:
    "skinny girls . . . how do they do it?"


    I would still disagree. I'd have to listen again, but my guess is that they're only using a specific key or set of notes in a way that people find appealing and would recognize as being train-like. "Industry cliches." This is also very common in pop music. When you take the same chord and vary the cadence, harmonies, style, etc, you essentially make new music because they have very few things in common, but the audience subconsciously identifies the intent. You can link a lot of songs together in this same way, but it doesn't necessarily mean they have any influence on each other and it doesn't make them similar enough. In fact, it's common for composers to pick similar themes when trying to "describe" the same scene or product. Off key organ music for scary themes, light, rambling melodies for calm or water, xylophones and toy pianos for children's themes, etc.
    • 9 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 164
    edstarr88...you are the only person so far that thinks they are kind of similar. I appreciate you having an open mind. I bought a CD in the mid 1990's that features classic TV commercials from the '50's, '60's, '70's, and early '80's. The "Choo Choo Charlie" commercial is on the CD. I discovered the "Play Safe" cartoon on a DVD I bought a couple of years ago from the dollar store. I can't remember if I replayed the CD shortly before I watched the cartoon for the first time. I do recall noticing the similarity between the cartoon's "theme song", and the commercial's melody almost immediately (after watching the cartoon for only a couple of minutes).

    So, the basic melody was reused in other commercials as well? Ads for hair care products, and a diet drink mix. Very interesting. Some melodies merely sounding alike have led to lawsuits in the past. According to songfacts.com, George Harrison lost a lawsuit in 1976 when a judge said he "subconsciously plagiarized" the 1963 Motown classic: "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons on "My Sweet Lord," his first single as a solo artist. He was ordered to pay Bright Tunes Music, who owned the copyright, $587,000. Also... Huey Lewis sued Ray Parker Jr. for stealing the melody of "I Want a New Drug", and recycling it as his hit song "Ghostbusters." They settled out of court, but Parker sued Lewis in 2001 after Lewis revealed in a VH1 "Behind The Music" special that Parker paid him as part of the agreement.

    Thanks!

    Cheers!

    Sincerely, Steve B.
  • avatar
    • 9 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 7014
    Let me acknowledge Sunriser's well constructed points. And yet I have to go with triviaprofessor's observation of where Sunriser's take on all of this could lead . . . lawsuits!

    The result of any random musical construction can lead to unintentional similarities to established songs or jingles.

    And like the judge in the George Harrison case said, "if two pieces of music sound alike, how am I to decide with regard to the former, the "intent" of the latter, if the question is plagiarism?"
    The Eldorado is dead. Long live the Eldorado.
    • 9 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 164
    "...it's common for composers to pick similar themes when trying to 'describe' the same scene or product". Sunriser...would an example of this be whenever somebody is about to be stabbed, or killed, in a modern horror flick...you hear violin music a la the "shower scene" from Hitchcock's "Psycho"?

    eddstarr88...what you said made a lot of sense.

    Thanks!
  • avatar
    • 9 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 3803
    Quote by triviaprofessor
    "...it's common for composers to pick similar themes when trying to 'describe' the same scene or product". Sunriser...would an example of this be whenever somebody is about to be stabbed, or killed, in a modern horror flick...you hear violin music a la the "shower scene" from Hitchcock's "Psycho"?

    eddstarr88...what you said made a lot of sense.

    Thanks!



    Pretty much. And you can get really close to the original score without being sued.
Forum Staff
Super Admin: Vertex
Super Mods
Search