August 9, 2010

Yoko Kanno songs compared for plagiarism

I just had to reorder the OST for Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society (lost the copy that came with my DVD) and so was hanging around YouTube searching for interesting Yoko Kanno videos. yuta84001 over on YouTube has compiled three videos pairing Yoko Kanno songs with those of many other artists that, to a sometimes greater sometimes lesser degree, she appears to have plagiarized. The worst offenders are clearly stolen melody, harmony, and arrangement. Others less so but with various flourishes--a sampled vocal or guitar lick--that are unmistakably thieved. Here're the vids:

A video response was made in her defense that is so laughable I won't dignify it with a link. Similarly, the YT comments attempting to defend her appear primarily from musically uneducated fanboys. A more appropriate explanation might be to treat her work as what it is: musical illustration. The best visual illustrators are masters of all genres and virtuoso technicians. Illustrators' works may take from classic designs and repurpose them. In the history of music, such thieving is much more common. YouTube contains a veritable cottage industry of claims of plagiarism between various bands. Most are pretty innocuous similarities based on stylistic short hand markings of strum patterns, chord progressions, and arrangement. Kanno is a skilled and prolific workhorse of anime soundtracks. Her swiping is pretty blatant at times, but as a percent of overall output I'm not sure it should be much of an issue.

posted by sstrader at 7:36 PM in Music | permalink | comments (0)

September 26, 2007