viznut's amazing discoveries

[2007-05-25]

Have all melodies already been discovered?

Cynics sometimes argue that all music has already been made. So, regardless of what you compose, you always come up with nothing but a variant of someone else's earlier work.

So, once I stumbled upon Musipedia, an "open music encyclopedia" including a clever search engine for melodies, I immediately did some searches for some of my "trademark" note sequences, just in case!

You see, more than a decade ago I developed a melody style I used in many of my old PC-based textmode demos. This distinctive style got dubbed as "the PWP melody" by some people. Check out these tracker songs for example: Suksikuusi, Cosmolamu, Go Mazzembly. The style is rather simple really, so I suspect someone else may have discovered something like it as well.

All right, so I entered some of the beginning of the main melody of Cosmolamu in the Musipedia search engine, and it found, among all, an old Irish folk song named "Scatter the Mud" (midi file). I hear some slight similarity in the style, yes. But would people categorize it as "PWP-style" if I put it in a demo? I really can't tell.

I also tried to enter a more generic PWP-style note sequence in the engine, and what the hell, it found another Irish folk song, this time one called "Colonel McBain". The first 15-or-so notes are very close to something I could have written, but after them the song becomes weird.

I still need to do more searches to fully understand this apparent mystery.

And by the way, here's the official excuse for not releasing anything for Simulaatio '07 last weekend: I lacked musical inspiration and I couldn't finish my software synthesizer in time. Maybe if I just had timbalanded some obscure celtic folk song, no one would have noticed anything unusual.