In Independent (Re-)Creation Likely To Happen In Pop Music? (Escom 2009)


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We present an empirical study, in which strong arguments werefound that independnet recreations are not unlikely to happen in pop music given the stylistic and cognitive constraints.

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In Independent (Re-)Creation Likely To Happen In Pop Music? (Escom 2009)

  1. 1. Is Independent (Re)Creation Likely to Happen in Pop Music? Klaus Frieler* & Frank Riedemann** *Universität Hamburg, **HfMT, Hamburg ESCOM 2009, Jyväskylä
  2. 2. <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>„ Independent creation“ common defense strategy for defendants in copyright infringement cases </li></ul><ul><li> Forensic music psychology! </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>Three cases of copyright infringements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>True plagiarism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unconscious borrowing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent (re)creation </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>Poses questions of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>creative process during pop song writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>melodic memory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>amount of stilistic and cognitive constraints in pop music </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How big is the space of pop songs? </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Production paradigm </li></ul><ul><li>Backing track (p, git, bs, dr) </li></ul><ul><li>Chord progression I VI IV V (G Em C D), barwise, played twice </li></ul><ul><li>Moderate tempo 120 bpm </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Task </li></ul><ul><li>Subjects were asked to produce a „catchy, poplike“ sung melody to the backing track </li></ul><ul><li>No other restrictions </li></ul><ul><li>Subjects were not informed about real intent of experiment </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Procedure </li></ul><ul><li>Experimenters recorded subjects at home using a laptop with a head-set </li></ul><ul><li>Backingtrack could be downloaded on a web site and self-recorded tunes sent back </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Subjects </li></ul><ul><li>16 subjects, mean age 35.2 (sd = 12.6), 7 F/9 M </li></ul><ul><li>Years of musical experience ranged from 0 to 45 years, </li></ul><ul><li>aM = 17.63 , sd = 14.73 </li></ul><ul><li>Hours/week of active music: </li></ul><ul><li>aM = 7.88 , sd = 10.74 </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Subjects </li></ul><ul><li>15 subjects needed less than one hour for the task, some less than 30 min </li></ul><ul><li>7 subjects delivered also lyrics (some nonsensical) </li></ul><ul><li>All subjects rated the task „easy“ or „very easy“ </li></ul><ul><li>All subjects had „fun“ or „big fun“ ( Commercial potential of Creative Karaoke?! ) </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Melodies </li></ul><ul><li>Subjects created a total of 19 melodies, one was excluded </li></ul><ul><li>5 melodies from hit songs over the same chord progression were collected </li></ul><ul><li>Total of 24 tunes </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Data Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Melodies manually transcribed and coded into a digital formal </li></ul><ul><li>Melodies split into four-bar phrases </li></ul><ul><li>34 phrases, 26 in reduced set (exclusion of minor variants) </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Melody Statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Number of notes: 7 to 28, </li></ul><ul><li>aM = 16.3 , sd = 6.32 </li></ul><ul><li>Three types: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>slow (aM= 9.85, 13 inst.), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>medium (aM = 16.74, 13 inst.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fast (aM = 25.38, 8 inst.) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Phrasal Analysis </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Phrasal Analysis </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Tonal Analysis – Pitch Classes </li></ul><ul><li>Only diatonic pitches were used </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Tonal Analysis – Central notes </li></ul><ul><li>Reduction of melodies barwise to central notes (manually) </li></ul><ul><li>Relate central notes to key or to sounding chord, eg. 1355 </li></ul><ul><li>Tonal reduction: 23/26 distinct forms </li></ul><ul><li>Chordal reduction: 22/26 distinct forms  great variety </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Huron‘s Contour </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Similarity analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Comparision of subject‘s tunes with hit songs </li></ul><ul><li>Comparision of subject‘s tunes with each other </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Similarity analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Similarity matrices calculated with SIMILE using a set of approved measures from different dimensions </li></ul><ul><li>Selection of tunes with high similarities on more than one dimension </li></ul><ul><li>Final selection manually </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Subjects vs. Hits </li></ul><ul><li>One subject (TK9682) delivered two four-bar phrases with high similarities to two hit songs each </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Subjects vs. Hits </li></ul><ul><li>TK9683-1 vs Pink </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Subjects vs. Hits </li></ul><ul><li>Sam Cooke vs TK9683-2 </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Subjects vs. Hits </li></ul><ul><li>Confirmation in a listening experiment (N = 23, dead-pan MIDIs, rating scale 1-10) </li></ul><ul><li>TK9683-1 vs Pink: aM = 6.1 , sd = 1.99 </li></ul><ul><li>TK9683-2 vs Cooke: aM = 8.2 , sd = 1.07 </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Subjects vs. Hits </li></ul><ul><li>Subject TK9683 stated to know both songs, but only vaguely </li></ul><ul><li>Expert witness confirmed high similarity of TK9683-2 and Sam Cooke </li></ul><ul><li>Due to the differences he opted for „unconscious borrowing“ </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Subjects vs Subjects </li></ul><ul><li>Three phrases showed high similarity to each other </li></ul><ul><li>All three tunes feature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>mainly chord root following, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>note repetitions, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>prominent accents on second beat. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Subjects vs Subjects </li></ul><ul><li>JOE28-1 </li></ul><ul><li>JAG23 </li></ul><ul><li>MAR17 </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Subjects vs. Subjects </li></ul><ul><li>Confirmation in a listening experiment (N = 23, dead-pan MIDIs, rating scale 1-10) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>JOE28-1 vs MAR17: aM=7.3 , sd=1.99 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>JAG23-2 vs MAR17: aM=6.1 , sd=1.07 </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Experiments show evidence that independent creation might be not unlikely to happen in pop music </li></ul><ul><li>No proof, of course </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Case of subject TK9683 could be explained by „unconscious borrowing“ </li></ul><ul><li>Other cases show rather trivial melodies along chord roots </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>Outlook </li></ul><ul><li>Gathered material is well-suited for experiments in hit potential research </li></ul><ul><li>Already done some pretests </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>Outlook: Hit research </li></ul><ul><li>Metrical factor for hit potential </li></ul><ul><li>No correlation between hit potentials of MIDI and audio versions </li></ul><ul><li>Hit potential of audio versions mostly determined by singing quality </li></ul><ul><li>The best singers delivered also the tunes with highest MIDI hit potential </li></ul>
  32. 32. Thank you!