Over the last few months I have spent a serious amount of time studying and refreshing my knowledge on music composition and production. In the previous 10 years or so, running MediaMusicNow has been my priority and composing my own music has taken a backseat (until now).
Getting back into music production has taken a fair chunk of cash and lots of time studying. My personal challenge and desire is to create convincing orchestral music and that has taken a lot of time so far.
As I’ve been refreshing my mind on music theory I have pondered the thought … has all the music been created? Have all of the melodies been used up? More importantly, have all of the really great melodies been used up? Irrational I know. Perhaps I should drink less coffee. So, out of interest I did a search on this and found some very interesting information.
I then found this brilliant video and realised that I might be ok for a few years.
I would highly recommend watching the video if this topic interests you. The video has much observation and calculation backed with research too.
The main point I took away was that using 8 notes within one octave gives 79 billion melody possibilities. If one hundred writers each created one new melody every second, this would exhaust every possible melody in 248 years. So music is not infinite, but has a finite number of possibilities.
Having said that, there is a lot of music that sounds familiar and we don’t tend to move too far away from familiar patterns. This is because we like patterns. This is even more so with chords, we repeat so many chord patterns and are influenced by what came before.
At this stage there are 130 million different songs registered in the grace note database so still about 78.9 billion possibilities without infringing copyright. So, we should be okay for a while. Time for a coffee before I start back at my audio workstation 🙂