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Orchestral Hit "Stolen" from Stravinsky!


soundscape

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Real men don't steal others' arrangements? Apparently this is the original Fairlight "ORCH5" sample ( http://www.ghservices.com/gregh/fairligh/examples/orch5.wav )--straight from "The Firebird Suite":

 

http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/3479/orchgn9.gif

 

Someone's written a (rather revisionary in some details, I suspect) history on it:

 

http://homepage.mac.com/rfink1913/FileSharing1.html

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To be clear, it's a sample of a 1919 recording. I dunno. I guess I like orchestral hits so I'm interested in the history and where the others (found on various ROMplers, for instance) came from, and if they're also fully-voiced chords performed by an orchestra. "Stolen" just helps get more attention. ;)
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What an odd looking score, with all of the instrumentation written on the same staff.

 

So many ledger lines give me a headache!

 

Soundscape -- my father always told me "if you're gonna steal, steal from the best", and the opening to "L'Oiseau de Feu" really gets an audience's attention.

 

But how do you use it as a "hit"? It seems to me quite a compositional challenge to "tweak" the opening measures here so that it sounded like an original part of your own score.

 

I've always enjoyed the way John Williams' did this in his movie scores. The theme from Superman for instance, borrows heavily from Strauss' work, especially Death and Transfiguration, but he never overtly plagiarizes the original work.

regards,

 

--kwgm

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While its sad, it does happen frequently. Ironically I was listening to Enigma on the way to school and the beginning of the first song of the CD is taken from Carmen, the same used in the movie Excalibur. Most people don't know or recognize it when it happens until their told unless its a rip off of a very popular well known piece. Is this now being considered an accepted practice?

Begin the day with a friendly voice A companion, unobtrusive

- Rush

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Originally posted by kwgm:

But how do you use it as a "hit"? It seems to me quite a compositional challenge to "tweak" the opening measures here so that it sounded like an original part of your own score.

Well, you don'tit's the score of a sample. ;) Specifically the "ORCH5" sample found on (came with?) the early Fairlights.

 

http://www.ghservices.com/gregh/fairligh/examples/orch5.wav

 

I'm sure you've heard it or similar enough examples a million times before, and you'll find some kind of "Orchestral Hit" on any ROMpler. But apparently, this was the first one. I suppose some people consider them tacky, but they've long been one of my favourite sounds.

 

To be honest, I'm not at so bothered (ethically) by "stealing" a very short section of a recordingin this case the recording's copyright had presumably expired anyway. It's more from an engineering/audio quality standpoint (the "ORCH5" sample was of a 1919 recording, AFAIK) and from a music theory/arrangement standpoint (how does it match the current chord or tonality?). Or does it even sound like a chord, or are we so used to hearing it that we don't hear it as a chord? Actually these are the sort of questions I have over sampling in general, and appear to be lost among the ethical debates.

 

So I'm interested in if anyone here, perhaps the likes of Erik Norlander, have any information on where other typical Orchestral Hits came from.

 

 

I've always enjoyed the way John Williams' did this in his movie scores. The theme from Superman for instance, borrows heavily from Strauss' work, especially Death and Transfiguration, but he never overtly plagiarizes the original work.
I suppose tweaking a score is another interesting question altogether. I like John Williams' work, but I'm not really familiar with Strauss, so I'd be interested in which of his works "influenced" Williams.
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Originally posted by Silver Dragon Sound:

While its sad, it does happen frequently. Ironically I was listening to Enigma on the way to school and the beginning of the first song of the CD is taken from Carmen, the same used in the movie Excalibur. Most people don't know or recognize it when it happens until their told unless its a rip off of a very popular well known piece. Is this now being considered an accepted practice?

Enigma is another case altogether than just sampling one chord. They got into sued over their album MCMXC (including the hit "Sadeness") which sampled entire parts of a choir's performance singing Gregorian chants. I think the assumption was that since the choir was singing a public domain piece it was OK, but in fact, the copyright existed in the sound recording. But this was in the relatively early days of sampling; by now it's established that any sampling of copyright material requires clearance.

 

I think more recently, overt sampling is avoided because of the likelihood of legal "problems," or the cost of clearing the samples is not worthwhile. Still it does not prevent such idiotic tracks as Madonna's "Hung Up" which "steals" the hook from Abba's "Gimme Gimme Gimme" yet has absolutely no redeemable qualities of its own, and for which Abba charged a large clearance fee in addition to sharing songwriting royalities. (Needless to say, I have a pretty dim view of music composition by such "papier mache" cut-and-paste techniques.)

 

Of course this is not the same as being "influenced by" a piece. After all (for example) there are plenty of songs over the years that use the same chords as Pachelbel's Canon.

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There are myriads of sample and music "borrowings" everywhere. So make sure you copyright your compositions. :)

 

Enigma also used excerpts from Vangelis 666 album without permission, there are no credits on ELP first album to Bartók and Janacek, etc.

 

And how many clones earn a living imitating Elvis? On the other hand, that's OK with me if you want to steal stuff from Céline Dion. I won't listen to it for sure anyways. :)

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Originally posted by Cydonia:

Enigma also used excerpts from Vangelis 666 album without permission

Hmm, so it does. Rather blantantly, too. (I just listened to the clip of "Seven Bowls" on the iTunes Store.)

 

Originally posted by Cydonia:

There are myriads of sample and music "borrowings" everywhere.

IMO there is a huge difference between sampling and even wholesale 'recreation' of another track, partially to do with engineering concerns (who wants some poor quality sample contaminating a perfect recording?), and in part to do with problems of proper arrangement. (I'm sure there are some cut-and-paste sample 'artists' who dont understand music theory nor arrangement.)

 

Originally posted by Cydonia:

On the other hand, that's OK with me if you want to steal stuff from Céline Dion. I won't listen to it for sure anyways.

I'm sure plenty of songwriters have been influenced by the likes of Diane Warren and Jim Steinman (both wrote some of Dion's tracks.) Now in the case of a truely poor 'song' such as the "Macarena," I'd agree... then again, I'm sure it's not musically unrelated to better material. ;)
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Excalibur has a bunch of Wagner in it. As well as Carl Orff's Carmina Burana in the fight sequences. I wonder if that is what you are referring to. I thought I heard some bits of Carmina Burana on the first Enigma album. Carmina Burana is ripped off in so many contexts it's almost a genre now.

 

John William's Jaw's motif echoes a bit of Dvorak's 9th symphony. (4th movement orchestration and development, not the theme).

 

There's so much borrowing and theft going on because the media explosion makes it possible.

 

The question I would ask is what they built with what they "borrowed". Everybody stands on somebody else's shoulders in culture. The question is whether they added enough to make their statement their own. I would suggest that "the orchestral hit" became a cultural artifact in it's own right. Despite my distaste for it. (Uggh) I quickly scroll past it on a synth. To each his own.

 

Best,

 

Jerry

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To me, the question is more whether or not the end result is good quality. "Stealing" one chord voicing is neither here nor there (although sampling it may be illegal if it sound recording is still under copyright.) But why would I want a *1919* quality recording contaminating my "perfect" 24-bit recording? (Maybe this is a more troublesome issue with entire drum breaks or parts ripped off old records.) The other problem relates to tonality, throwing in a fully voiced chord may not relate to the current key or chord in force.

 

I really think these issues are usually missed entirely in discussions on sampling. (Although there was that whole debate here when Dave Horne sent a letter to Keyboard that blasted a "masher" who "misused" the term "adjacent key".)

 

Originally posted by Tusker:

The question I would ask is what they built with what they "borrowed". Everybody stands on somebody else's shoulders in culture. The question is whether they added enough to make their statement their own.

Absolutely. But while you can 'steal' someone else's motifs and change them around a bit to create something new, in fact legally (AFAIK) you cannot do any sampling (of copyright material) without clearance. I'm not sure how this works if you mangle something beyond all recognition, but I believe it's still illegal.

 

I would suggest that "the orchestral hit" became a cultural artifact in it's own right. Despite my distaste for it. (Uggh) I quickly scroll past it on a synth. To each his own.
I just knew someone would say that. ;) Its not something you can "play", though, its a stab to be used carefully and not very often; it's hardly the first patch I'd reach for.

 

Of course even then you may dislike it; I just happen to like synth-pop and it was once quite a popular sound.

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Originally posted by soundscape:

its a stab to be used carefully and not very often

I wish that were true in the late 80s/early 90s. :)

 

Yes 90125 "Owner of a Lonely Heart"

 

Theme from "In Living Color"

 

I don't think these folks got that memo. :rolleyes::D:cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Yep, the latter version got the revised "New Jack Swing" treatment. :rolleyes:

 

Gimmicks and tricks i.e. orchestra hits, gated kicks and snares, reverb drenched vocals, etc., are the perfect way to "date" music. YMMV.

 

Of course, a new generation of musicians will "rediscover" this stuff and find interesting ways of using it (maybe). ;)

 

Guess I have come full circle having utilized all of that stuff in the past. :D

 

In my older age, I'm fine on AP, EP and/or organ and using other cats to fill out the symphony. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Originally posted by Tusker:

Carmina Burana is ripped off in so many contexts it's almost a genre now.

This is so true, especially in many recent movies. There are so many movie soundtracks now that includes at least one piece with typical orchestra and choir arrangement partly xeroxed from Burana that it's becoming ridiculous.

 

Not to mention it's plain boring and shows the complete lack of inspiration nowadays from many music and movies "creators". Just like any good piece of music, from Hey Jude to Fur Elise, becomes intolerable after 2000 listenings. On top of that, we of course have to hear everywhere those terrible rehashes of old stuff. One clear example? The absolutely nauseating version of "All by myself" by Céline Dion. Do we really need five new versions of every old song?

 

Sorry for this Saturday noon rant. :cool:

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Originally posted by ProfD:

Originally posted by soundscape:

its a stab to be used carefully and not very often

I wish that were true in the late 80s/early 90s. :)

 

Yes 90125 "Owner of a Lonely Heart"

 

Theme from "In Living Color"

 

I don't think these folks got that memo. :rolleyes::D:cool:

Neither did the Pet Shop Boys or the folks at Cheiron..! ;)
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Originally posted by ProfD:

Gimmicks and tricks i.e. orchestra hits, gated kicks and snares, reverb drenched vocals, etc., are the perfect way to "date" music. YMMV.

Well, this again is illustrated by the 'In Living Color' theme--the first one has a nice pad sound in there, and just know what you're watching from the first bar. 'You can do what you want to do... In Living Color' is also an extremely effective hook and has a lush vocal harmony.

 

'Gimmicks and tricks' can be interesting... but everything else need be solid first. Personally, my priorities are (in no particular order) on the highest possible quality sound, excellent playing, arrangement and composition.

 

As for 'dating' music, fashions come and go but my personal favourite sounds aren't necessarily fashionable. I think the whole idea of saying that a style is '80's' or '60's' or whatever is a bit absurd anyway--either it's good or (or you like it or not), it's not as though music 'advances' in the same way as technology. Of course commerically, it is foolish not to pay attention to trends. I think the 'Orchestral Hit' was found on some recent Rn'B/hip-hop track, but I can't remember which. (And I'm sure I don't care to hear it again.) I think it was also used in the show 'The Weakest Link'.

 

Originally posted by ProfD:

In my older age, I'm fine on AP, EP and/or organ and using other cats to fill out the symphony.

Well, these are all quite flexible sounds, aren't they? There were a few years in the 80's when the piano was 'out of fashion'. That's just as silly as anything else if you ask me--even more so since it is a sound that's universally liked and works well in so many contexts. (Probably good acoustic/perceptual reasons for this.)
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Originally posted by Cydonia:

Just like any good piece of music, from Hey Jude to Fur Elise, becomes intolerable after 2000 listenings.

http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/8031/itunesplaycountnb8.png

 

And that's only the play count for that track on this computer since I last did a reinstall. :freak:

 

Originally posted by Cydonia:

On top of that, we of course have to hear everywhere those terrible rehashes of old stuff. One clear example? The absolutely nauseating version of "All by myself" by Céline Dion. Do we really need five new versions of every old song?

Why do you "have" to hear them?

 

If I listen to the radio, I'll surely hear music that's far inferior to "All By Myself". (Chances are, I'll hear whatever hip-hop/Rn'B or "indie" or "DJ culture" garbage is cool this week.)

 

I guess I just don't understand this. There are so many garbage songs released, why not pick on them rather than an "obvious" target that you don't like? It's too easy to make jokes about the likes of Michael Bolton (who, BTW, is a highly competent songwriter) or Celine Dion.

 

Let's look at the iTunes top songs today... oh look, #2 on the US store is "Weird Al" Yankovic. Do we really need stupid parody versions of every song?

 

Oh, and #2 on the UK iTunes store is DAVID HASSELHOFF -- "Jump in my Car". (A cover of a 1975 song.) If you want nauseating, you got it. :freak:

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Originally posted by soundscape:

Why do you "have" to hear them?

 

I guess I just don't understand this. There are so many garbage songs released, why not pick on them rather than an "obvious" target that you don't like?

Well, you know, I chose her because she's originally from here. I feel more confortable criticizing someone from here than some American or European singer. In the beginning, she had original stuff and didn't emulate nobody or a singing style that many follow in order to become "superstars". So from original songs, she just chose the big $$$ way dictated by the music industry, at the expense of originality.

 

And why do I have to hear those kind of songs? Because I can't control what's playing at my supermarket, grocery or drugstore. But that's often what's playing when I'm there. Of course, there are worse music than that. I was giving an example with All by myself, because although the original was a good song in its time, the remake is absolutely disastrous and used by her as another one-too-many show-off "let's try to sing louder than Pavarotti" absurd mania. :rolleyes:

 

In any case, I've lost enough minutes of my life typing about her. Let's go back about Stravinsky. ;)

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I suppose tweaking a score is another interesting question altogether. I like John Williams' work, but I'm not really familiar with Strauss, so I'd be interested in which of his works "influenced" Williams.
Hi Soundscape,

 

Sorry I haven't been around....in writing Superman, Williams seemed (to me) to be influenced by Strauss' works Don Juan, and Death and Transfiguration. Strauss was the master of the musical Tone Poem and these two works are perfect examples.

 

You probably know that one of his other works, the first movement of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, was used as the theme for 2001: A Space Odyssey (great organ part, btw), however, the rest of the work, is dissapointingly weak, imho. He wrote 2 great concerti for the french horn, and an oboe concerto that are very, very challenging for the performer. His operas are somewhat challenging for the listener, but Der Rosenkavelier is exquisite, and his Four Last Songs are sublime.

 

If you like Mahler, you'll probably like Strauss, though they barely tolerated each other's work, I understand. Strauss' music is extremely romantic, right there at the border of romantic and modern music, and his harmonies can be intensely discordant. Not dinner music, his.

regards,

 

--kwgm

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Originally posted by Cydonia:

And why do I have to hear those kind of songs? Because I can't control what's playing at my supermarket, grocery or drugstore. But that's often what's playing when I'm there. Of course, there are worse music than that. I was giving an example with All by myself, because although the original was a good song in its time, the remake is absolutely disastrous and used by her as another one-too-many show-off "let' try to sing louder than Pavarotti" absurd mania. :rolleyes:

Well, you don't have to like Dion, of course. But what gets me is the music industry pumps out enough garbage supported by enough nonsense marketing ("indie" this, or whatever) yet the criticisms always focus on a well written/made song. I mean, it seems to boil down to what's cool and what's not... but if a musician doesn't focus on the music, they're shooting themselves in the foot.

 

I'm surprised supermarkets play Celine Dion today...

 

In any case, I've lost enough minutes of my life typing about her. Let's go back about Stravinsky. ;)
Well... according to the "TAB" at http://www.guitaretab.com/d/dion-celine/5384.html "All by Myself" was, to quote that page, "also done by Eric Carmen who got it from Rachmaninoff". Perhaps you'd care to enlighten...
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