Sounds off-topic, but it isn't: Puccini's "Tosca"

For discussion of Lunar: The Silver Star, the original game for the Sega CD
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ilovemyguitar
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Sounds off-topic, but it isn't: Puccini's "Tosca"

Post by ilovemyguitar »

Okay, I sing in an opera company, and we just finished a production of the Puccini opera, "Tosca."

Is anyone here familiar with this opera? There's a cantata near the beginning of the second act that sounds quite blatantly like the choral theme from the soundtrack to the original Lunar game. (I'm pretty sure the track plays in the Goddess Tower.)

Now, I'm not saying the composer ripped off Puccini. I am, however, saying that it sounds like the composer was inspired by this piece. It's not an identical copy, but the similarities are rather astounding. I wish I could provide a sound clip of the cantata, but I definately reccomend checking it out, if you have the resources.
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GhaleonOne
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Post by GhaleonOne »

There was another case like this, where the TSS final battle theme sounded very much like something from much earlier. It was talked about on the WDMB. Perhaps Alunissage or someone else remembers a bit more about it.
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Alunissage
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Post by Alunissage »

I do, but my excellent post on the topic is down the bit bucket now. :( I'll try to recreate it later. Basically, a) deliberate homages happen all the time b) we don't know much about the musical background of the Lunar composer and he may or may not have heard the Puccini theme c) there are only so many combinations of sounds; you may as well say that the Star Spangled Banner rips off Beethoven's Appassionata sonata. I remember playing Mahler's 1st Symphony and thinking that part of the first movement reminded me of Xenobia's theme (okay, maybe it's Ghaleon's, but I associate it more with her). The fuss came up because someone posted that "WD" ripped off Stravinsky with the TSS miniboss music (which is on the SSSC soundtrack, I don't remember which track) and made these accusations with a lot of righteous anger and an inversely proportional amount of sense.

I've seen Tosca (and looked at the conductor's score briefly), but it was quite a while back so I don't remember the music. I liked it, though. I'm pretty sure I saw it after playing TSS, but that doesn't mean I would have thought of it as similar. If you can post some sheet music or something I can take a look; I know the Goddess Tower music well. I might have the Tosca theme somewhere but I'm sure I don't have a score to the whole opera and my library is a bit light on both that era and opera in general anyway.

Maybe I don't need to recreate that post. That seems to cover it.

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Post by drumlord »

Alunissage wrote:Basically, a) deliberate homages happen all the time

Non-deliberate musical quotations (as it wouldn't really be an homage if it wasn't deliberate) happen as well. I'm an amateur composer from time to time and I find a lot of my music either isn't so good or sounds quite a lot like an existing piece, even if I didn't intend that to happen.
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Alunissage
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Post by Alunissage »

Yeah, I know that from personal experience as well. Back when I was something like 12 and knew nothing of harmony I put together a scrap of music I liked, and then heard what I'd somehow copied almost exactly two years later. That sucked. And, of course, it still happens. I meant that to be covered in c), so I added the word "deliberate" to a) even though it was redundant thereby.

Ever read Spider Robinson's short story Melancholy Elephants? It's about the logical extreme of copyright as applied to musical composition. Seems even more apropos now than when I first read it in 1991.

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