Influences/Ripoffs in Evangelion's Music

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Influences/Ripoffs in Evangelion's Music

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Postby NAveryW » Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:11 pm

I'm currently trying to compile a list (with comparisons) of all of the tracks in NGE that are very similar to or show a great amount of influence from other tracks. I will post short samples of each one for comparison purposes (which is entirely legal, BTW). Note that I'm not saying that the entire songs are ripoffs, but certain parts are uncoincidentally similar. Here is what I have so far:

"Decisive Battle" and "007"
"Misato" and "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?"
"Background Music II" and "Magnificent Seven"
"Komm Susser Tod" and "Whiter Shade of Pale" (Not as direct)
"Komm Susser Tod" again and "Hey, Jude"

You can download a zip of the comparison samples here.

If anyone knows of anything that I didn't remember or notice, please mention it.
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:11 pm

The only one I knew about was KST with Hey Jude.

Nice find! ^_^

EDIT: Actually, Whiter shade of pale reminds me of something else. I can't think of what now though. >_<
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Postby NAveryW » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:17 pm

The only ones I noticed myself were "Decisive Battle" and the two "Komm Susser Tod"s. My father pointed out "Background Music II"'s similarity to "Magnificent Seven", and someone on this forum pointed out "Misato"'s similarity to "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" (yet I can't find the post anymore).
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Postby Ornette » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:50 pm

I don't hear similarities, the changes are different, a few parts of the melodies that superficially sound similar.
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Postby NAveryW » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:02 pm

Ornette wrote:I don't hear similarities, the changes are different, a few parts of the melodies that superficially sound similar.
Not even in "Decisive Battle", "Background Music II", and "Misato"? Because, to me, those are incredibly obvious.
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Postby Ornette » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:23 pm

The typical musical vocabulary in pop music is relatively small, there are bound to be tons of superficial similarities everywhere.
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Postby Shin-seiki » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:49 pm

Sailor Star Dust wrote:The only one I knew about was KST with Hey Jude.

Nice find! ^_^

EDIT: Actually, Whiter shade of pale reminds me of something else. I can't think of what now though. >_<
'Whiter Shade of Pale' rips off a piece by J.S. Bach

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Postby CorporalChaos » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:55 pm

Actually, to me, the opening notes of Komm Susser Tod sound like "Let it Be" . That's the first song I think of when I hear it.
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Re: Influences/Ripoffs in Evangelion's Music

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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:06 pm

NAveryW wrote:"Komm Susser Tod" and...
Wasn't that partly taken/borrowed from a Bach piece?

Ornette wrote:The typical musical vocabulary in pop music is relatively small,
Depends on what you define as pop. If pop means anything except classical, jazz, and world music then I'd have to disagree. If pop is what you hear on the radio, then I'd certainly agree.
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Postby NAveryW » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:30 pm

The only tracks I've mentioned that I consider pop in any way are "Misato" and "Komm Susser Tod". I really don't see how "Decisive Battle" or "Background Music II" are pop music at all. Furthermore, the similarities there are far beyond superficial. They have almost the exact same notes and are arranged quite similarly. In fact, I guarantee you that any court of law in the United States would find "Background Music II" derivative of "Magnificent Seven".
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Re: Influences/Ripoffs in Evangelion's Music

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Postby Ornette » Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:05 am

Eva Yojimbo wrote:
Ornette wrote:The typical musical vocabulary in pop music is relatively small,
Depends on what you define as pop. If pop means anything except classical, jazz, and world music then I'd have to disagree. If pop is what you hear on the radio, then I'd certainly agree.

I mean the former, and it is "relatively" small. I've listened to a lot of music I'd consider pop, played it, and studied it. The usages of relative key changes, chord changes, harmonic context, and usage of non-harmonic tones is hardly diverse. This isn't to say you have a some that are different, I'm not arguing from a blanket statement point of view. But enough of it is the same that you see these similarities everywhere. That's why there are 7 modes of the major and melodic minor scales and why they are used. There's only so many ways you can group them together in a melodic context, and thanks to genre preconceptions, you're left with an even smaller set. The difference often-times is the harmonic contexts of the same melody, which is often the same within the same genre.

This isn't something that is unique to just pop music, it happens in all music, but since the songs that NAveryW posted the comparison to were what I consider pop, and compositionally, pop is a lot more constrained in many ways.

NAveryW wrote:In fact, I guarantee you that any court of law in the United States would find "Background Music II" derivative of "Magnificent Seven".

I highly doubt it. Consider Son House and John Lee Hooker, they're playing nearly the same notes AND in nearly the same harmonic context for a large part of all the music they've ever created, the comparison between these 2 songs isn't even close. Or the first 16 bars of that Richard Marx song that I can't remember the name for and some other guy who I can't remember the name of, almost exactly the same.

The exact same notes is Thelonious Monk copying the melody and chord changes (the name of the song escapes me) and leaves the last 2 notes of the 16 bar melody out, then calls it his own composition. This is obvious, there's no doubt (when asked about this, he said "they weren't needed"). Another textbook example is "Ornithology" and "How High the Moon". Here, we have some minor similarities, similarities that exist in a lot of other pop music, even the same ones as the songs you listed. Are they copying one another? Who knows, maybe they are, but there so much of this that it'll never be definitive unless the composers come out and say, "I got this bit from this song". I suppose finding similarities can be interesting (but not for me), but I couldn't justify claiming there is an influence.
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Postby NAveryW » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:45 am

Let me revise my statement: I guarantee you that, if "Background Music II" and "Magnificent Seven" consisted only of the samples I posted, any court of law in the united states with the least bit of competence would find the first piece derivative of the latter.
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Postby Zuggy » Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:08 pm

NAveryW wrote:The only ones I noticed myself were "Decisive Battle" and the two "Komm Susser Tod"s. My father pointed out "Background Music II"'s similarity to "Magnificent Seven", and someone on this forum pointed out "Misato"'s similarity to "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" (yet I can't find the post anymore).

I posted it over here - http://animenation.net/forums/showpost.php?p=6227310&postcount=1 - I was banned from this forum at the time, so I don't think I posted it here.

007 here - http://evageeks.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=54719#54719

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Postby Ornette » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:22 pm

NAveryW wrote:Let me revise my statement: I guarantee you that, if "Background Music II" and "Magnificent Seven" consisted only of the samples I posted, any court of law in the united states with the least bit of competence would find the first piece derivative of the latter.

No, they would just say "these sound kinda similar", and that would be the end of it.
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Postby NAveryW » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:38 pm

BUT THEY HAVE THE EXACT SAME NOTES! BGM2 just has a few more "tween" notes than M7 and has other stuff in the background!

EDIT: To explain how I came across this, I was pointing out to my father (who has been a composer for decades) that I didn't remember that particular track in the series. I played it, and when it got to that part he laughed out loud, saying it was the Magnificent Seven theme. I then went in search of a sample of that theme, and when I played them side by side, I realized that it was indeed almost the exact same thing.

Here's a sample from a review of OST III that I found when doing a Google search with both titles:

"Background Music II" is the more amusing, however, being used as the music in a video game. It opens with a strident guitar intro that leads into a spirited appearance of the famous theme from Elmer Bernstein's western score for The Magnificent Seven. This is followed by the main EVA action theme before the Bernstein theme appears again. It is a very amusing spoof of something extremely familiar and tying it in with the actual score, although only the middle part was actually used in the series.
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Postby Ornette » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:24 pm

I'm not saying that it couldn't be an influence or that they don't sound similar, I'm saying that there are lots of things that sound the same (you remember that game show "Name that Tune?"). Even the reviewer used cop out words such as "a spirited appearance of", because we won't know for sure whether that's really an influence or not, unless the composer admits to it. The court of law bit, since there is no precedence, and if one was set, there would be lawsuits left and right about someone using something that sounds similar to someone else, is in jest, of course.
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Postby NAveryW » Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:09 am

Actually, precedents do exist (of sorts). You're familiar with the "Pretty Woman" case, right?

Granted, the lyrics were also obviously derivative...
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Postby Ornette » Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:56 am

NAveryW wrote:Actually, precedents do exist (of sorts). You're familiar with the "Pretty Woman" case, right?

Granted, the lyrics were also obviously derivative...

Yes, that was big news in the pop/rap industry in the early 90s. I didn't even give a shit but it was all over mtv. The big difference here is that the bounds of fair use is broken when you purposely try to slander the original copyright holder. Look at Weird Al, he's done the same thing but is pretty much free to copy (note for note, phrase for phrase, section for section) other people's works.
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Postby NAveryW » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:37 am

But he gets permission and pays the royalties.
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Postby Xard » Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:43 pm

"Komm Susser Tod" and "Whiter Shade of Pale" (Not as direct)


This is interesting coincidence. Whiter Shade of Pale's iconic organ melody comes from Bach's Air btw.

But KST is NOT based on Whiter Shade, rather on even more better known work that is heard in Evangelion too...

CorporalChaos wrote:Actually, to me, the opening notes of Komm Susser Tod sound like "Let it Be" . That's the first song I think of when I hear it.


This is because Let It Be's chord progression is yet another song in never ending list of hit songs with "Let's rip off Pachelbel lol" theme

See Aerosmith's Cryin' (it might be most painfully obvious here), Green Day's Basket Case, Kylie Minogue's I Should Be So Lucky, Tunnel of Love by Dire Straits, With You or Without You by U2 etc. etc. etc.

There's reason why it is known as one of the most whored out melodies in history you know

Eva Yojimbo wrote:
NAveryW wrote:"Komm Susser Tod" and...
Wasn't that partly taken/borrowed from a Bach piece?


Komm Süsser Tod is basically Pachelbel's Kanon In D made pop with Hey Jude's nananana-outro melody as chorus melody.

So KST is mostly Kanon/Canon with some Beatles thrown in for good measure.


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