The new Squarepusher track Stor Eiglass has exactly the same melody as the well-known hit Just Like Heaven by The Cure. Are we talking about plagiarism here? I don’t believe Squarepusher is a cheap skate. This must be due to the limitations in our musical language I believe.
We have only a palette of 12 notes to create melodies from. And when we stay in one key it’s even less: seven notes. Going from one note into the next we use a few interval steps (tone distances, 7 in one octave) using increasing and decreasing note sequences.
There’s not so much to choose from when we’re creating our melodies. This is the reason why many melodies sound same-ish. Everyday many new melodies are added to the world wide database of melodies. Thanks to today’s easy methods to create and record music we see exponential growth in published tracks. So it’s getting more difficult each day for anyone to come up with truly unique melodies.
Listen to my example using a quick crossfade from Squarepusher’s Stor Eiglass into The Cure’s Just Like Heaven: