I've heard of this happening to people - but damn! I made up a tune a few years ago - it came to me fairly easily, but I clearly recall working on bits here and there, to get certain phrases just the way I wanted them, till I got it to perfection. I was really quite pleased with myself, I'll admit, and every time I've played that tune since, I've thought, "Some day the world will hear this one, and it'll catch on like wildfire!" But I never played it outside the privacy of my own kitchen, and never published it in any form. Which, as it turns out, was a good thing: about half an hour ago, I was listening for the first time to a recording from a fiddler named Kyle MacDonald - and the last tune of the set was, you guessed it, MY tune! Note for note! MY tune!! Except ... I have to face it: it had to have been an old tune when I composed it ... (sigh) ... it's not fair ... !
Here it is, if anyone's curious: at 4:49 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg7YhA1bDa4 ... MY TUNE!!
The only other experience I've had like that was after a pleasant dream in which my parents, dressed in some kind of central-European peasant garb, were dancing in the kitchen - in the morning, I worked out the tune they had been dancing to ... but after a couple of days of playing it, I was finding something in it just a little too familiar - with a bit of nosing around, I discovered that it was the Princess Reel.
Now you know how George Harrison felt! :-) Nice tune, you should pat yourself on the back in any case.
I composed a waltz a few years ago (with lyrics) for some friends' wedding, and I've always wondered if I somehow copped the tune elements from some other tune(s) lurking in my subconscious, but so far no one who's heard it has called me out...
I made my living reading movie scripts, novels, etc. for a movie company. One of the things I did in my job was to figure out if a script my bosses wanted to make was just a little too close for comfort to something someone already did. Sometimes the similarities were too obvious to ignore. Sometimes you could get away with saying that nobody has a totally original thought, and that there are enough differences between the two pieces to damn the torpedoes and go full speed ahead anyway. Sometimes I'd suggest ways to make the similarities a bit less similar. In any case, if you're worried you're stepping on another piece's toes, see if you can alter your tune enough to allow it to stand on its own. I got to say, too, that over the centuries lots and lots of strikingly similar tunes have managed to live side by side.
Trouble is, in this case, it's note for note the same - except for a slight variance in the order of the notes in the ending phrase - which is uncanny. If I had been trying to consciously play a tune I'd heard a number of times, I couldn't have gotten it as close (I know from experience!).
But if it puts me in the company of George Harrison, well then ... (blush) .......
It is great that you got Kyle MacDonald to play your tune! :-)
Edited by - gapbob on 09/24/2021 06:37:17
Yeah - I've a good mind to set my legal team after him!
I feel you pain!!!
I composed a tune named, "Jesus Played the Fiddle"... played it for years.. At the last Clifftop this guy started playing my tune.. but just the first 1/2 was similar..The second half of the tune he played was different..I was always SURE that my first half of the tune was original and Inspired... Such is the life of a fiddler...
There was such a slight difference in the first halves of the tunes that my fiddling Daughter was at first confused by the fact that she could easily play that guy's tune which she thought she'd never heard before... I can still hear her, '"Dad!. He's playing YOUR tune!".. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of that guy's tune.. but I'll track him down if we ever have another Clifftop!!!
Way back in the 60's I was considering becoming a teacher. One required lower division class was Music. We had, for the final, to compose a simple tune for the piano, why, I'll never know.
I spent 2 weeks coming up with something on my guitar (the family piano had been passed on somebody else years before, although I had taken piano lessons for 6 years in Elementary school.
The evening before the final I started playing the tune and it suddenly dawned on me that I had come up with an exact duplicate of an old nursery rhyme! I had a hard time explaining it to the instructor, but managed a "C" out of the class anyway - she finally bought my 'true story.'
My next composition was a Talkin' Blues that can be heard here, if anybody is interested. That little piece of music would have gotten me in trouble, probably locked away, today.
I am not picking anybody in this discussion, but when my dyslexia kicks in it makes for fun interpretations of the posted topic.... It went from "Composing an Old Tune" to Composting and Old Tune....... makes sense to me...
'Guitars at Irish sessions?' 15 hrs
'Years of IN-experience' 4 days