[lit-ideas] Re: J.S. Bach and Unchained Melody

  • From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2008 16:17:45 -0400

>>Did the Everly Brothers rip off Bach's prelude #1?

You mean Prelude 1 from Book 1 of the WTC? No. It sounds like a simple variation on an "alberti bass." The Bach is more complex, though it's easy to hear why you find it similar to the piano line.

For an interesting comparison of performance of this simple Prelude (the simplest in the whole WTC) compare Glenn Gould to Sviatoslav Richter (both on piano) to Wanda Landowska (harpsichord).

A much closer ripoff occurs in the soundtrack of "There Will Be Blood" where the screen composer almost completely steals Swiss composer Frank Martin's Etude for Orchestra, "Pizzicato." In this ripoff, there is of course the usual added percussion...lotsa percussion...hoo-boy!

I think composers are under pressure to add percussion to all their ripoffs largely because a modern audience is unable to appreciate tracks where the instruments alone carry the rhythm. Understand that I don't think people are becoming "stupider," but rather that their culture is becoming stupider.

Lapsing into silence in C Major,
Eric
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