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How much is considered ‘plagiarism’ for a GCSE music composition? watch

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    So basically, for one of my GCSE compositions, I’ve taken inspiration off of a piece of the internet. The vast majority of the piece is mine, the chord progression, the melody, dynamics etc.
    However, as an extremely paranoid person, I’ve noticed some similarities between them and am now really worried I’m gonna get marked for plagiarism. I’ve used
    -the same key signature (though I doubt this is something to worry about)
    -three ideas on how the chords are played: chords with 1st-5th-8th notes like CGC, rolled chords and 2 4 bar phrases of the same rhythm but different notes in the bass
    Note that all of this was accidental and completely unintentional.
    Otherwise the rest of the piece is mine.
    Is this something to be worried about?
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    (Original post by belowthesea)
    So basically, for one of my GCSE compositions, I’ve taken inspiration off of a piece of the internet. The vast majority of the piece is mine, the chord progression, the melody, dynamics etc.
    However, as an extremely paranoid person, I’ve noticed some similarities between them and am now really worried I’m gonna get marked for plagiarism. I’ve used
    -the same key signature (though I doubt this is something to worry about)
    -three ideas on how the chords are played: chords with 1st-5th-8th notes like CGC, rolled chords and 2 4 bar phrases of the same rhythm but different notes in the bass
    Note that only the first 3 points were intentional, the last was by accident.
    Otherwise the rest of the piece is mine.
    Is this something to be worried about?
    You should be fine. Key signature is not a problem since there are only 24 of them (unless you count atonal), and let's face it, not many people will compose their piece in G# minor. As for the chords, plenty of pieces use those (I think the technical term is open fifths). Given how much music is out there, there are always going to be similarities.

    Heck, if this is plagiarism, what are all the people who use the 1-4-6-5 chord sequence going to do?
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    You should be fine if in doubt ask your teacher but taking inspiration from others is something that all composers do. Obviously if you'd decided to write the same thing in a different key or taken the whole melody or something it would be different, but you should be okay.
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    Thanks for the quick response. But my paranoia is kicking in again unfortunately.
    Do you think examiners/moderators will notice the 2 4 phrasing patterns though? It’s only the rhythm only in the bass line that’s the same, but the notes are different and so is the melody on top of it.
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    1-5-8 chords are very common in modern music. Especially contempory piano pieces (literally just listen to any Einaudi piece - that's all there is to the left hand). And rolled chords are widely used. As long as the phrases don't sound remarkably like in the other piece (which I'm guessing they don't really because you've changed the bass) then I'm sure it'll be fine.

    New music comes from bringing existing ideas together with new ones, whether done consciously or without realising - and actually loads of pop songs are very similar when looked out closely.
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    (Original post by belowthesea)
    Thanks for the quick response. But my paranoia is kicking in again unfortunately.
    Do you think examiners/moderators will notice the 2 4 phrasing patterns though? It’s only the rhythm only in the bass line I’ve taken, but the notes are different and so is the melody on top of it.
    It'll be fine it's not that uncommon, they'd be more interested that youre thinking outside the box and that you've done it successfully- particularly at GCSE level, this a a really good thing. If you want to then get someone you trust to listen to them both and see what they think, I really think you'll be fine though listen to Chopin or Mozart or any composer and you'll find elements of some others, it's how music develops!
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    Actually, I’ve found out the 8 bars aren’t exactly the same. First 4 by phrase isn’t the same (it just looks very similar), 2nd is the same but the rhythm is only played once in a single bar as it is 2/4 in the piece, whereas in mine it’s repeated twice as it is in 4/4. So I think I should actually be in the clear. Thanks everyone!
 
 
 
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