I hesitate to share my thoughts on this matter now, and indeed, some here
might prefer that I allow this thread to die, as it has seemed to
My two cents: The Missa L'homme armé of Josquin uses a pop tune "L'homme
armé" as its cantus firmus. This was written, by anyone's best guess,
in the 1480s or 1490s. It was far from being the first case of its kind,
and I choose it as a particularly famous and familiar example.

Music needs recycling and revisiting in order to grow. It is not "ripping
off" and if you think it is then J.S. Bach is the biggest ripoff artist in
music, stealing
even from himself. Just last night Rebecca pointed out to me an instance
where Grandpa Jones and Pete Seeger used exactly the same musical setting
for two different songs. Which of them wrote it? Neither of them; it was
something that was out there before either of them and they simply fitted
what they
knew to lyrics that were also around. Old hymns also tend to be profligate
in terms of what they are set to.

The whole Robin Thicke thing started as a bit of hubris, with him daring
the Gay(e)s to sue him as a "brilliant' publicity stunt. He's still making
plenty of
money from the tune, so he's not terribly concerned that they did, and the
verdict went against him. But the judgment is a problem for every musician,
and in turn every musician ought to band together to reverse it, as the
judgment itself reverses at least six centuries of forward development in
What's to keep corporations from copyrighting basic tools such as
intervals? The Cage estate has successfully sued somebody for
"plagiarizing" silence.

All of this has got to stop. I could not be more serious about it.

Dave Lewis
Hamilton, OH

On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 9:19 PM, Lou Judson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> … of uncopyrighted material…
> <L>
> On Mar 12, 2015, at 1:25 PM, Don Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Brahms' Hungarian Dances are all uncredited ripoffs.