homeaboutarchives + tagsshopmembership!
aboutarchivesshopmembership!
aboutarchivesmembers!

kottke.org posts about Damien Riehl

Recording All the Melodies

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 14, 2020

In this recent TED Talk, lawyer, musician, and technologist Damien Riehl talks about the rapidly diminishing number of melodies available to songwriters under the current system of copyright. In order to help songwriters avoid these melodic legal landmines (some of which are documented here), Riehl and his pal Noah Rubin designed and wrote a program to record every possible 8-note, 12-beat melody and released the results — all 68+ billion melodies, 2.6 terabytes of data — into the public domain.

It’s interesting that the litigious nature of the music business and the finite number of melodies (and the even smaller number of pleasing melodies) has turned an artistic endeavor into a land-grab — whoever gets to a certain melody first owns it forever (or at least for dozens of years). (via @tedgioia)