(I know, I have very musically nerdy children!)
Then the discussion turned to how RHYTHMS, TITLES and CHORD PROGRESSIONS cannot be copyrighted. "Can you imagine what would have happened to all of the Latin music if rhythms could have been copyrighted?" (Drumbeats on table) "There would have never been any new Latin music! So many rhythms are the same!"
Composers have this problem that they have to deal with all the time --- how can they create ORIGINAL music? The same building blocks of music are available for everyone. Originality comes in the way that MELODY, RHYTHM, HARMONY, CHORD PROGRESSIONS, TEXT, TEMPO, and STYLE CHARACTERISTICS come together in a piece. GENIUS is when these elements are put together in ways that amaze and delight the listener.
Take for example what is called a MOTIF. This little musical idea can be made up of a group of notes put to an engaging rhythm often incorporating words that becomes the inspiration for the rest of the song. Sometimes the song already exists, but the composer needs another contrasting MOTIF to bring interest and COHESION to the accompaniment. The composer then has to play the game of TOO LITTLE or TOO MUCH? as he weaves the patterns of the melody and accompaniment together.
In my new arrangement of "Israel, Israel God Is Calling" 2-Part I had to play that game. This old hymn already had a prominent rhythmic MOTIF
This arrangement was commissioned for a Fathers and Sons chorus to sing in Church. The choir director requested an artistic accompaniment to allow the very simplified vocal lines (mostly melody) to shine.
Now available are two versions --- "Israel, Israel God Is Calling" for 2-Part Men's Chorus and for 2-Part Treble Chorus.