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Did Jule Styne Steal the Opening Bars of the Gypsy Overture from Irving Berlin

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BobbyBubby
Broadway Legend
joined:11/23/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 11/23/04
Did he know that his opening bars sounded exactly like those Berlin used decades earlier in Call Me Madam? He had to have seen the show, right?
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 2/20/04
The opening bars of the GYPSY overture are the "I had a dream" motif used throughout the show.

Did the Intel Corporation steal the same four notes for their jingle?

If we are talking about four-note motifs popping up again and again, consider these:

"I want it all" (BABY)
"A Bit of Earth" (SECRET GARDEN)
"It's Not Too Late" (ROMANCE ROMANCE)
"This is the Mo..." (JECKYLL & HYDE)

And by the way, GYPSY and CALL ME MADAM are both from the same decade - the 1950's.
Updated On: 12/13/07 at 07:48 PM
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allofmylife
Broadway Legend
joined:3/8/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/8/05
Jule Styne steal from Irving Berlin? Come on. Have you LISTENED to Styne's music recently? The man didn't need to steal from anyone.

Oh, wait, this is one of those friggin' "how much hell can I raise on Broadwayworld.com" questions, isn't it?

Stupid me for falling for such a stupid question.
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 6/29/05
In order for a song to legally be considered plagiarized, nine notes and/or twelve words have to be sequentially identical.

Otherwise, no dice. And even then, it's extremely hard to prove.

But four notes of anything would never be considered "stolen."
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/10/04
Those four notes can also be heard in the intro to Les Miz's "I Dreamed a Dream".
Mag Wildwood
Understudy
joined:11/27/07
Understudy | Joined: 11/27/07
It's not the notes that are important here, it's the function of the harmony.

check out both the Styne and Berlin scores and see if everything is identical, not just the melody. Use figured bass and roman numerals.
Timmer
Broadway Star
joined:2/21/06
Broadway Star | Joined: 2/21/06
T.S. Eliot once wrote that "bad poets imitate; good poets steal." I imagine the same can be said of composers; after all, there are only so many notes.

Sir Andrew does it. There is a bar of Puccini, a couple of bars of "School Days", and so forth. But then, as Eliot wrote about,he takes that element and makes it something of his own. I could probably write a completely original song in which not one bar was original.

If Styne did borrow a bar or two from Berlin, he put his own twist on it and made a new song. Nothing wrong with that.
FranklinShepard-Inc.
Broadway Legend
joined:8/25/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/25/04
That makes asmuch sense as saying, Sondheim copied that "I had a dream, a wonderful dream" motif for "it started out like a dream" in "Good Thing going".

And the more I think about my presumptions, that might even be a true subtext. Oh my. This even would work.
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 2/20/04
It's "It started out like a song".

However - dare I say it? Martin Luther King Jr. STOLE "I have a dream" from Sondheim!
FranklinShepard-Inc.
Broadway Legend
joined:8/25/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/25/04
Damn, you're right. re: Did Jule Styne Steal the Opening Bars of the Gypsy Overture from Irving

I'm right about it musically though. And it still would work as for the meaning. "Good Thing going" is about a dream that's ended by then. Sort of Mama Rose has given up.
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Roninjoey
Broadway Legend
joined:9/27/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 9/27/05
Because I'm sure nobody ever said the phrase before either one of them came to it ;P

Although Good Thing Going and the "I Had a Dream" motif DO sound similar!
yr ronin,
joey
FranklinShepard-Inc.
Broadway Legend
joined:8/25/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/25/04
Well, it wouldn't be too surprising if this motif was just still somewhere on Sondheim's mind. After all he sure had heard it a few thousand times in the late 50ies.
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Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/17/03
I think the only one Styne stole from was himself.

If you hear a Styne overture, there is no doubt as to who the composer is - big & brassy.
Poster Emeritus
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 2/20/04
Actually, Sondheim did a little semi-stealing from Styne. In "Anyone Can Whistle" there's a song called "See What It Gets You" that sounds a lot like the "All your life and what does it get you..." section of Rose's Turn.
gypsy4
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/07
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/14/07
How could they be stolen the opening bars are from a song in
the show?
FranklinShepard-Inc.
Broadway Legend
joined:8/25/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 8/25/04
In this case, of course, it is the motif that is the issue, whether used in the overture or in the song, Gypsy4. It's just that in the overture it's highly prominently featured.

Anyhow, it is probably just a clever way of paying hommage to other composers and not pinching.