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Imitation or copying

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I am very confuse by the both words in the composition circle. What does it mean by copying somebody's composition and imitating somebody's composition.Could someone here define those words and give me examples of the both.Thank you

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This is something of a grey area in composition. the way see it is:

if you were to take another composer's melody, motif or even entire composition that would be copying. However if you did this on purpose to create an effect, i.e. a musical joke then that would be acceptable and is usually termed as a 'qoutation', for example the prelude to schnitecke's gogol suite ends with a qoutation of the opening motif from Beethoven's 5th symphony.

Imitation is a different matter. Imitation is the copying of a style of writing rather than specific musical examples. For example one write music which immitates the classical style. Another example would be that you could imitate the style of a Mozart piano sonata, this instance would be deemed pastiche... such as Manuel Ponce's sonata for guitar in the style of Schubert.

I hope this helps :)

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It's a matter of taste, too. Someone who hears a piece and goes, "Well, I've heard that before," could be listening to the same piece that another person said, "I love how it sounds like this other thing."

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Er, copying a piece is literally doing a 1:1 copy. Like a transcription.

Copying a style is using style guidelines while providing the content yourself. In other words, you're writing in that idiom without necessarily having to literally copy anything, though it'll look similar and most likely share common aspects.

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Er, copying a piece is literally doing a 1:1 copy. Like a transcription.

Copying a style is using style guidelines while providing the content yourself. In other words, you're writing in that idiom without necessarily having to literally copy anything, though it'll look similar and most likely share common aspects.

Is it possible to provide some examples of above.Thank you

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Er, sure.

Bach transcriptions for Organ of Vivaldi's concertos. That's literally copying (and some arranging.)

Then there's, say, Honegger's Chopin pastiche for piano which is a style copy (more or less.) Or, Schumann's own Chopin-pastiche in his Carnaval for piano. Pretty good examples of using someone's style without literally copying them. Also worth mentioning to a lesser extent is Cage's "cheap imitation," in style of Satie's Socrates.

In between is stuff like Bach using fugue themes from other people, for example. It's not his original idea 100%, but the development of it is.

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Er, sure.

Bach transcriptions for Organ of Vivaldi's concertos. That's literally copying (and some arranging.)

Then there's, say, Honegger's Chopin pastiche for piano which is a style copy (more or less.) Or, Schumann's own Chopin-pastiche in his Carnaval for piano. Pretty good examples of using someone's style without literally copying them. Also worth mentioning to a lesser extent is Cage's "cheap imitation," in style of Satie's Socrates.

In between is stuff like Bach using fugue themes from other people, for example. It's not his original idea 100%, but the development of it is.

Is there such a thing known as a direct coying from a composer's composition.

is this called copying

1 changing the original piece key signature and little varaition

2 no key signature change but variation to the melody

3 exactly same harmony being used

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1 changing the original piece key signature and little varaition

2 no key signature change but variation to the melody

3 exactly same harmony being used

I'm curious why you want to know this. Intend doing one or more of the sugestions above?

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I'm curious why you want to know this. Intend doing one or more of the sugestions above?

Yes, I have the word imitation many times, But i have not tried doing it.

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Is there such a thing known as a direct coying from a composer's composition.

is this called copying

1 changing the original piece key signature and little varaition

2 no key signature change but variation to the melody

3 exactly same harmony being used

Depends who you're asking.

Are you asking a composer, or a copyright lawyer? ;)

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Yes, I have the word imitation many times, But i have not tried doing it.

Ok, I thought so already...

the words imitation and copying can be considered a form of critique to your work. The people using those words (in which case they almost became synonyms) dislike that they are hearing someone else then you. If I want to listen to Bach, I listen to Bach, not to you.

Besides this, you have to be aware of your place within the music history. If you want to contribute something to this art form, you have to be somewhat inventive, fresh. When every phrase ends with a V7, it gets boring... same applies for a piece in minor that gets stuck in between I VI, or I IV...

So, in my experience, copy or imitation is a rather compressed way of expressing these critiques

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Observation: a style copy doesn't necessarily have to be a negative thing.

Just like you can call Beethoven's music "style copies" of Mozart/Haydn, and so on, it doesn't make much sense in the end even if they use a lot of similar elements. Hell, the whole thing with music history is exactly how slow it is since everyone kept copying eachother and slowly adding their own things to it.

If you choose to use elements found in other music, no matter what kind of music it is, you'll be judged by what you do with them, not just using the elements. A critique that calls something bad because it has a V-I cadence and ONLY because it has that is a worthless critique. Elements by themselves aren't inherently bad nor uncreative, they're just material you can use to make things according to your ideas.

A critique that criticizes your IDEAS for being copy-pasta from X or Y composer is much more important, since it's not really about superficial elements being used, but rather what were you trying to do the entire time with them.

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