#1
I was thinking about songwriting and thought about people wanting things to be unique.

In the present, is it "possible" to create unique yet enjoyable music?

Think about it a little bit.

TL;DR: My point is that music that is unique and enjoyable has already been performed most of the time, and that people should stop stressing out over whether some other guy's song sounds unique or not.

Pretty much everything has been done before. We all know that. Some people forget that when they say you should try to be unique though.

If you are an active songwriter now, it is almost impossible to write something that is different from everything else. Any rock, metal, punk, jazz, blues, or pop song you write is similar to something already written.

Unless you create some weird, ambient, noisey electronic music with stange noises playing off beat, and the sound of a door closing an opening for the whole song, along with whales crying as vocals, you are probably not unique. Yet, if you did make something like that, most people will most likely not enjoy it.

It seems like pretty much most unique (and like I said, more enjoyable) ideas are already taken.

Don't get me wrong, there are still tons of possibilites open for music. A riff you come up with will be new to music 95% of the time. A change in something such as one note makes it original. It is rarely the same as another song without you knowing it.
As long as people wouldn't be able to easily think "This sounds a lot like that other song," you are fine.

Another thing I should point out is that it is harder for people who play instruments to make unique music. In an average band, there is usually a vocalist, guitarist or two, bassist, drummer, and sometimes a piano or horn section. The majority of bands from 1950 and beyond have those instruments in it. All of them write songs using those instruments, which narrows the space for new bands with those instruments to use new ideas. Meanwhile, in electronic music, you have billions ways to use tons of different synth sounds, instruments, and sound effects to make your music unique. All you need to use is a computer program or two, so there are a lot less limits as to what you can do without "copying" somebody else.

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Discuss. If there is already a thread about this, I wasted my time.
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#2
I'd say no, you can't make a song completely unique anymore, because everything has been thought of, and there's only so many notes on a fretboard!

However you can put a unique twist on a certain thing.


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#4
I disagree. Given todays level of technology I think we can do things nowadays that have never been done before.

Check out Animal Collective and Of Montreal as an example. I could also cite bands like Radiohead as an example of modern day uniqueness.

I think we still have a long way to go before it is no longer possible to be unique.
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#5
I'd say no, you can't make a song completely unique anymore, because everything has been thought of, and there's only so many notes on a fretboard!
Well think outside the box; think about what all the other instruments are doing.
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#6
There will always be unique music. Even with styles that have been around for a long time. That's not to say EVERYONE will make unique music, there will always be the cookie-cutter bands. But there's always bands that push boundaries and create unique music. These are the songs you listen to 20+ years after they've been released. There aren't a lot of bands that make it to that level, but creativity with music will never die and there will always be more possibilities.
#7
Quote by Serayph
I could also cite bands like Radiohead as an example of modern day uniqueness.
Although I love them to pieces Radiohead are not necessarily unique. Most of their 'unique' music is a rip off of Krautrock or Aphex Twin

But yes it is still possible to be unique considering 90% of the pop music for the past god knows how many years has been four chords or less. There is still an incredible wealth of territory to be explored. You just need to stop thinking like a 10 to the penny rock musician
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#8
Quote by Nietsche
Although I love them to pieces Radiohead are not necessarily unique. Most of their 'unique' music is a rip off of Krautrock or Aphex Twin


I think this is a little harsh, but to me it hits on what really makes Radiohead unique - they go off and listen to a weird list of classical, avant-garde jazz, underground electronica and instrumental hip-hop, then they come back influenced and make songs that actually have mainstream appeal despite being heavily influenced by and sounding rather like music most rock musicians (never mind the general public) would find unlistenably strange.

That's unique.
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Last edited by Damascus at Aug 2, 2009,
#9
Quote by Nietsche
Although I love them to pieces Radiohead are not necessarily unique. Most of their 'unique' music is a rip off of Krautrock or Aphex Twin

But yes it is still possible to be unique considering 90% of the pop music for the past god knows how many years has been four chords or less. There is still an incredible wealth of territory to be explored. You just need to stop thinking like a 10 to the penny rock musician



That depends on what you would call their 'unique' music. I think they have done a lot for music as a whole and that is without even including their electronica-oriented stuff.

A lot of the chord progressions and riffs, music in general from Hail to the Theif for example is unlike any other music I have really seen. Not to mention that a lot of their grooves are rather unique, at least in my opinion. And finally, I would say that they do a lot for creating atmosphere to their music, something that many other bands do not really explore.
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#10
OK guys I didn't want to get into a debate about what makes radiohead unique
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#11
Like many things, it mostly has to do with your definition of unique. I agree with Seryaph, there's a lot of great technology people can take advantage of to make some awesome music.
#12
This whole question seems almost absurd... it's like saying people have been around a while and there's been a hell of a lot, surely they're not all different?

TS, you gave your opinion of what would you felt would make a unique sound in music, but admitted it would sound unmusical... have you considered why? No matter how out there what we listen to is, we do listen to patterns in music, we like there to be some structure. Which is why I think it's quite foolish to imagine that the only way to get a different sound is by adding things which we would not normally expect to find in music... a very crude tool really.

But to return to my original statement: that of course the whole question is absurd... how can you possibly make such a claim. Of course you can't imagine what unique music unlike all previous music will sound like... it hasn't been created yet... go and make it, and add that to the pool of existing music.

Also... Nietsche... should be Nietzsche. Impersonating philosophers is clearly awesome... but spelling, well that's just better.
#13
Quote by Sam_Vimes
Also... Nietsche... should be Nietzsche. Impersonating philosophers is clearly awesome... but spelling, well that's just better.
My new user title doing anything for ya?

To make this post not spam TS why don't you go out and listen to some music from different artists/genres from outside the western traditions and see if that sparks your imagination?
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#14
Uniqueness can be achieved. But that shouldn't be the end all be all goal. People are different and have differents tastes. When you put them together you get different things. They might be similar to something else but there are similarities between ALOT of music,
When I think of a unique band, I think Diablo Swing Orchestra.
#17
^ +1 it will always be possible to be unique.

TS. Stop worrying about it, and just be yourself.
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#19
It's sad to see people agree that everything has been done already...

IF you wanna give up, then go ahead... no one will blame you for it.

Just don't bother the rest of us that work hard to create new ideas.
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Last edited by allislost at Aug 3, 2009,
#20
If you analyse music purely as how the notes interact with each other, it's difficult to be completely original with purely diatonic melodies and copied progression. Arch once said that purely diatonic music has pretty much been exhausted in its possibilities, I'm inclined to believe that.

Now, when you apply chromatic techniques and free counterpoint and poly-tonality and interesting time signatures and modulation (EDIT) and original phrasing (aka, intelligence and inspiration) and so on, you're left with near infinite possibilities.
        ,
        |\
[U]        | |                     [/U]
[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
        |
        L.
Last edited by demonofthenight at Aug 3, 2009,
#21
Course it is.

I bet if you really tried you could include sitar, mandolin, banjo, organ, bag pipes, glockenspiel, tubular bells or bongos in Death Metal.

The possibilities are endless, because everything can be seen as a musical instrument.

Look up Moog guitar on youtube.
#22
TS, search out new music. There are people out there doing new things...they're just hard to find because nobody seems to appreciate creativity or uniqueness.
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#23
It depends what you mean by unique.

If you mean melodies and harmonies, they have all been done.


The problem is in that our ears have developed through hearing music, up to a point that a melody where the passing tones are different are still considered the same.

Coldplay Vs Satriani anyone?

So there aren't many "strong" unique melodies, and it's about sequencing, rather then a singular unique melody.


As far as instruments go..

Would an acoustic version of sweet child of mine be considered unique to the original?

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Aug 3, 2009,
#24
Not many unique bands exist right now and most ones that do have been around since the last century. I see this as a dark age of music, but not the only dark age that has existed obviously, I can imagine musicians thought the same thing before the baroque period or even before the 20th century etc.

Give it time...
lol guitar
#25
Yes. I can't think of any song that is exactly the same as another song.
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#26
Like people have said progressions and the note part have, ofcourse you can't say for sure, been done.
Some artists still try to do new things with melodies, most heard in jazz i'd say, but often my ears find it kinda not being so good. Don't be different cause you deliberetly want to?

Radiohead is a good example, it's an insane parralel, but they kinda did what Hendrix did to guitar to effects in popular music. (I know they're not the only ones, or maybe not the first, so dont flame me)

Take OK Computer, it's from 1996/7 i think. It made a massive impact on popular music..

Anyways.. I think it's possiple to keep doing new stuff, i hate admitting it, but the computer will play a huge part.

And looking at computers, anything is possiple
#27
I think that my band is pretty unique. The musical syntax may be fairly generic, but the feel and and lyrics are pretty personal.
#28
Quote by Ikonoklast
Course it is.

I bet if you really tried you could include sitar, mandolin, banjo, organ, bag pipes, glockenspiel, tubular bells or bongos in Death Metal.

The possibilities are endless, because everything can be seen as a musical instrument.

Look up Moog guitar on youtube.


Mayhem's first demo. Look it up.