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KestrelPi

This must be a musical quotation

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At first I was surprised at how much the music in the swamp where you meet the witches was similar to something I'd heard before. Specifically music from the end of Anachronox (Skip to 7:00 minutes to avoid a major plot spoiler and get to the bit I'm talking about)

So I thought. 'Huh, they almost independently came up with the same melody and very similar arrangements.

But now I've heard this, too:

And the only plausible conclusion (since I doubt Peter McConnell is in the habit of ripping off music) is that it must be some sort of quotation from classical music or something, that's of some significance. Or else it's some amazing coincidence that this almost same music has occured 3 times in video games. Not just the same melody with the same rhythm, but similar backing arrangement. It smacks of common inspiration.

I'd like to solve the mystery as there are some 4chan types digging around trying to say Tim Schafer ripped off music (I don't even know where to begin). But it looks like it's actually more interesting than that.

Help?

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I've been chatting to Peter McConnell on Twitter about it. At the moment he's not sure exactly which bit I'm talking about which makes me think maybe it is a coincidence after all, but when you take the piece as a whole it's a pretty remarkable one. I just wish I had the soundtrack so I could do some side by side analysis, because that interests the composer side of me.

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That Might and Magic music actually reminds me of the the beginning of the original James Bond Theme from 1962 (the part before the guitar starts playing:

). Just slower and a bit lower.

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Yeah, update actually... the piece in question in CQ is a Camden piece, not a Peter McC piece. The low strings you're talking about are actually a stock sample Camden used. And it's a pretty common motif so it's not surprising it'd crop up in a lot of places.

The other elements like the chord stabs that use similar sort of instrumentation in all these three pieces are again not particularly original (and I mean that in the nicest way possible, I've used similar things in my own compositions)

The melody is a little harder to account for - in all three pieces the shape of the melody is strikingly similar to my ear, as well as the rhythm, so this combined with the above that is also common with each of the pieces makes for quite a coincidence. But since Camden might have been using some stock sounds to build his piece up, it's plausible that he made similar musical choices to other composers workingina similar mileu.

I put it down to interesting coincidence, and interesting illustration of how similar musical ideas can be arrived at independently.

Meanwhile, nobody has paid any attention to the accusations of plagiarism, so that's good.

At some point, distanced from this little teacup-storm I'm going to write a bit of an article on musical ideas, where they come from and the line between inspiration and plagiarism, and Peter has expressed interest in offering his own thoughts about the same :)

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When I heard it in CQ2, I remember thinking it sounded familiar, and I have never played those two other games. I vaguely remember having the impression at the time that it sounded as if it was inspired by an old classical piece, but I couldn't remember which one.

And yeah, people who are elsewhere talking about "stealing" need to chill out...the idea that Peter McConnell or Camden sat there and plotted to STEAL MUSIC from HEROES OF MIGHT AND MAGIC MUAHAHHAH is ridiculous and shows a lack of understanding about how music/composition works.

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