I think things have slipped here more than a little with kOmyers and lvick. The discussion here was set out to be limited to basic melodies, not entire musical compositions, and in respect to the former, the idea was only to limit subtleties in them just for the purpose of distinguishing them. I hardly had any intention of reducing Frederic Chopin to a one-fingered MIDI-file sequencer. I can especially appreciate all the intricate nuances of this composer, but classical music borrows (?) themes from peasant music, and the modern popular music steals (?) melodies from the classics. A theme or melody is recognizable, much as is the Mona Lisa, whether it be in the Louvre (or wherever the original is supposed to be) or in a tatoo on the bottom of someone’s foot.
I disagree with lvick, when he says,
That, of course, is attempted from time to time, but rules are also used by the mediocre to simply analyze the masterworks of the “truly creative”, for the purpose of appreciating many of the types of subleties that make up musical masterpieces. I only mentioned rules in their possible role of ferreting out identical or similar thematic threads within different musical compositions, which threads could be regarded as the same melodies.
Certainly, no one can deny the spendidness, distinctness and intracy of Chopin’s arpeggios; but, although they are essential to his unmatched style, and are integrated supremely with the other facets of his works, they do not constitute the essence of the melodic themes of his compositions.
True, that complexity makes the piece as a whole a work of only Chopin, and such involved manipulations don’t occur in popular music, but. . .while remembering that what we’re up to is trying to distinguish different melodies and lumping the same ones. . .let’s take, for instance, Chopin’s “Fantasie Impromptu”, Opus 66. Go to:
On this ad-hoc page of mine, you will find first (if the lawyers haven’t beforehand) an MP3 of a professional rendition of this piano piece. Below that you will find a MIDI sequence of the same piece, which of course, lets Chopin down a good bit. Finally, you will find another, really lousy MIDI file of “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows”, the old popular song that was taken from this work of Chopin. In this particular, almost unrecognizable, thumped-out synthesis of the song, there is still what must be admitted to be the same basic melody as found in part of Fantasie Impromptu (except for a few bars at the ends of some passages). Same thing with the old popular tune, “Till the End of Time” and another work of Chopin.
Of course, in bringing up this matter of a limitation in the number of truly distinct melodies, I hadn’t intended to bother M. Chopin, but now maybe I’ve gotten his various body parts rolling over in whatever locations they’re in these days. I was merely trying to deal with possibilities in popular tunes, but things always seem to get so complicated around this message board.
The piece I used to like to try to play was his “Nocturne”, Op. 9, No. 2. You should be glad I didn’t try to produce my attempts at that on my referenced page.
Ray (There are really only as many as there are “pretty girls”, I suppose.)