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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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    (Original post by furryface12)
    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.
    Hi i'm paranoid too! I've gotten the main melody in my piece from somewhere else and i really didn't realise! The rest of my piece is all mine though, is this still counted as plagiarism?!
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    (Original post by chumnies)
    Hi i'm paranoid too! I've gotten the main melody in my piece from somewhere else and i really didn't realise! The rest of my piece is all mine though, is this still counted as plagiarism?!
    You would have to talk to your teacher I'm afraid, it's really not something we can say without hearing it and knowing the specifics! It also depends how much of the melody you've used and other similarities etc. Talk to your teacher and have a play around with the rhythms etc and melody, you can do that without messing up the rest of your harmonies. Good luck!
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    (Original post by chumnies)
    Unfortunately I cannot send it, but https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYObC_LRETk is what it sounds like! My piece sounds like the first 23 seconds. But my piece has used most of the same notes in this section (there are a few differences) but the same rhythm! After that, my piece goes on for like a good two minutes in a different direction bringing back this tune. Whereas in the other piece it's really different! I'm so paranoid right now! It's already been handed in.
    It's handed in, there's nothing you can do about it now hopefully it's different enough to not cause a problem, it's not like it's an exact match or anything and that's a fairly generic piece. Try not to think about it too much, move on and focus on the rest of your exams. If something happens cross that bridge when you come to it! But I really don't think it will hopefully good luck!
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    It's handed in, there's nothing you can do about it now hopefully it's different enough to not cause a problem, it's not like it's an exact match or anything and that's a fairly generic piece. Try not to think about it too much, move on and focus on the rest of your exams. If something happens cross that bridge when you come to it! But I really don't think it will hopefully good luck!
    Thank you so much, I'm not that panicked anymore So is plagiarism when you copy something exactly? Because I definitely didn't do that. It's a complete accident! >,< Thanks again
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    (Original post by chumnies)
    Thank you so much, I'm not that panicked anymore So is plagiarism when you copy something exactly? Because I definitely didn't do that. It's a complete accident! >,< Thanks again
    It tends to get stricter as you go up the levels, but at GCSE they hopefully wouldn't mind too much as you've clearly done a lot of your own work. It's hard in music anyway- the big composers stole from each other all the time! Hopefully they won't even notice
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    So if you do edexcel you probably are aware of defying gravity which is a set piece to learn for appraising and this song uses 7 chords (limit for copyright music) from somewhere over the rainbow, it was done as inspiration by the composer and as an inside joke to stay inside music composition copyright limits. same here but i doubt examiners will be aware if you copy segments of music really unheard of or in another language etc. say you copied shape of you for e,g, its so bait and obvs ur not gonna get a grade.
 
 
 
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