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#1
how would you feel?

I'm currently in this stage where I right tons and tons of parts of songs, and I've been thinking about this for a while now:

If your favorite artist were to reuse certain melodies, riffs, progressions throughout an album how would you feel about it?

Would you feel like they're just reusing things because of lack of creativity? Or would you feel like it's really cool that they're putting tons of ideas into different situations?

I've been listening to tons of Phantom Of The Opera lately so that may be why I'm thinking about writing them where they bring back parts of other songs. The reason I want to know right now is because I am in the middle of writing things, so if I make it all work with similar ideas randomly through songs they will definitely have that because I'll be so used to it and vice versa.
#3
My favorite band is BTBAM so clearly I think it's a pretty sweet idea, and not the result of a lack of creativity.
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#4
yup dream theater has done that. not to bad to be honest
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#5
Yea, I forgot to add that, I'm sure I'm not the first person to do so, I'm just not aware of any that do it unless they're musicals/rockoperas/etc.
#6
Depends if it's done well.

I actually think it's normally pretty hard to get it to sound good.
#7
Bands do that to help tie a theme together throughout an album. So unless your songs are somehow related to eachother, directly in a storyline, or more conceptually, I would say no.

But its cool when bands do do it.
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#8
Depends on the presentation of the material. plus if you switch it up like same guitar melody different drum trach and keyboard..etc.etc.

ewww also if it was one of those one hit wonder bands I think it would turn me off, like imagine if Violent Femmes (i do know they have other songs) played that blister in the sun riff in their other stuff....it would be really weird. so I guess it depends.

like if led zeppelin played stairway in the middle of something else it would be weird. but it could most def be done
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#9
The way I'd do it there wouldn't be any story line or anything. And somethings would come back in a different setting (kind of a mash up of my own songs) but then somethings would be the same just different speeds and like extra stuff (harmonies and/or a different instrument doing, etc)
#11
AC/DC has been doing that for a career
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#12
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Bands do that to help tie a theme together throughout an album. So unless your songs are somehow related to eachother, directly in a storyline, or more conceptually, I would say no.

But its cool when bands do do it.

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#13
My favourite artist is Bob Dylan and he's already written the same song twice. (Girl From The North Country and Spanish Boots Of Spanish Leather).
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#14
All bands do this to a certain extend. Nirvana has two songs that are musically exactly the same but just have two lyrical perspectives. I see nothing wrong with it unless all of your music just sounds the same.
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#15
Steven Wilson reuses parts of songs all the time, and might I add brilliantly.

Just a few:
Way out of Here and What Happens Now?
Sentimental and Normal
.3 and Strip the Soul

And there's many more.
I think it works very nicely.
#16
I love it when it's done on purpose. It's usually done in concept albums where certain ideas come back but are conveyed differently.

But then there are bands like KSE (a band I love) that recycle their chord progressions and copy themselves from one album to the next and it's almost facepalm worthy (Only a few instances). I still love them though.
#17
I'm pretty sure the White Stripes have done this on one of their albums. I can't remember which one though :P
#18
The ability to use a single idea in through cyclical restatement is a much more cohesive, logical, and impressive achievement than a collection of unrelated music. Creativity is in how much use can be extracted from a single object, a gesture of quality, rather than how many underdeveloped ideas can be thought up, a gesture of quantity.

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#19
The Who were probably the first to do it with Tommy.

I actually like to see artists do it, because if it turns out good, it really shows off their creativity.
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#20
I wouldn't like it at all, personally. Not that it isn't creative, its just if i wanted to listen to that riff, i would listen to the one song its from. Hearing it in various songs is rather strange.
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#21
BTBAM has done it before. Their epic Colors has some riffs and melodies rehashed in the final song, and it makes for quite the epic wrap up. However, if they had the same riff in a couple different songs and they didn't really tie together anything (especially if it's not a prog song) it would be annoying, or if the riff is used on different albums. I've definitely seen it done before, Sublime's random dub jams translated into songs on the next album, Frederick Thordendal's breakdown riff is reused on Obzen. It's kind of meh.
#22
Nine Inch Nails anyone? ... conceptual records tie by the riff (the downward spiral, the fragile, etc)
#24
Like others have said, there's nothing wrong with reusing your own music in different pieces, as long as it's done tastefully. Another good album (In my opinion) where the reuse of certain motifs works well (once again, my opinion) is "Smile" by Brian Wilson. Obviously though, there are people who recycle melodies and progressions simply because they can't write more imaginative music. Really though, just follow your own intuition, and you'll be fine.
#25
It completely depends on the ability of the musician and/or band. If they can keep the songs original and interesting then I would see no problem at all with it.
#26
I think its really cool when bands do that. I know that the pit isn't so fond of Avenged Sevenfold but in their latest album there is a guitar melody that is introduced in one song and then gets played again a few songs later. It sounds awesome, and it fits so well in both songs. Very cool.
#27
Something I've been doing somewhat recently is reusing riffs or melodies. Not by taking the same exact one and using it multiple times throughout different songs, but taking the same idea or theme, and using it in different ways.

I started doing this primarily because I wrote an awesome melody for a song, and when I was fitting it into the song, I noticed there were so many awesome variations that I didn't want to waste them all.

So I've been trying to recreate certain melodies in different ways. It increases creativity, because you have to think of ways to change it up while staying true to the central theme. I think it's great. And adds cohesiveness to an album.
#29
I'll just namedrop Devin Townsend here.

And no, if it's done well, it can be a really good thing.
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#30
Getting motifs or themes to work in different contexts interests me more than just having completely new material thrown at me.

As long as it is in a different context, and you're not letting the same melody/riff/whatever fulfill exactly the same role it originally did. That's when it looks like you're out of ideas. Or doing nothing more interesting than having a reference to one song shoehorned into another.
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#32
Modest Mouse have pretty much used Lounge in Lounge, Lounge (Closing Time) and Summer. They're all on different records and it is a little different each time, but damn they sound similar. Again, I'm pretty sure it's on purpose.

Also Paul Gilbert definitely stole a piece from a classical song (that I can't remember the name of, damn) for the solo in Scarified. I think he played the whole piece on a later album, or then stole the solo from Scarified for another song. And it's not lazy, it's hilarious.

The other one I tend to like is when a band will reference someone else's work in a very obvious way. There's that April Wine song that ends in one guitar playing a Rolling Stones song and the other playing a Beatles song and it strikes me as being so clever. Or a rapper acknowledging their influences by sampling the same thing as their predecessor (Odd Toddlers by Tyler, The Creator sampling the same thing as One Beer by MF DOOM, and then making a small reference to DOOM in the lyrics).

There's a difference between reusing and alluding (which isn't the right word) to.
#33
Enter Shikari have a couple riffs and lyrics that get repeated in many of their songs. Go ahead and do it
#34
Green Day did it a couple of times on American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown, but with differences, such as different lyrics between Song Of The Century and American Eulogy. It isn't a lack of creativity, I see it as a way to get a riff stuck in your head.
#36
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The Who were probably the first to do it with Tommy.


Nah.
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#37
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The ability to use a single idea in through cyclical restatement is a much more cohesive, logical, and impressive achievement than a collection of unrelated music. Creativity is in how much use can be extracted from a single object, a gesture of quality, rather than how many underdeveloped ideas can be thought up, a gesture of quantity.

this. Having a central theme rise up again and again throughout an album in different ways isn't because the musician is running out of ideas, but because it's a stylistical tool in music that's been around for hundreds of years, but has been all but forgotten in contemporary music.

An example, Devin Townsend's Deconstruction album. Compare the bit from 0:33 to 0:48 on this song to 0:05 to 0:19 in this song and 0:40 to 0:56 in this song.

That little melody hook is present all over the album in variations, as well as a couple of other central rythyms and riffs, and I very much doubt that it was for lack of creativity or laziness,
#38
I just noticed in that bit in Juular, behind the choirs there's a melody very similar to the strings' melody in the chorus of Sumeria. Played on glockenspiel or something like it.
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Last edited by whalepudding at Jun 5, 2011,
#39
Quote by whalepudding
In that bit in Juular, behind the choirs there's a melody very similar to the strings' melody in the chorus of Sumeria.

So it's not all in my head after all? I'm not insane for hearing that, too? huzzah!
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