Ask a Musicologist

We are frequently asked these questions:

  • “How many notes can you copy?”
  • “Can you accidentally copy someone?”
  • “Can you copyright a vibe?”
  • “Is this fair use?”
  • “Can you copyright a chord?”
  • “Is this public domain?”
  • “Aren’t there only 12 notes to choose from?”
  • “Is 10 seconds of copying illegal?”
  • “Someone stole my song! What do I do?”

Sample topics we often discuss:

  • Music copyright dispute assessments
  • Licensing music
  • Music arrangements
  • Music career strategies
  • Creating a sound-alike
  • Creating a musical parody
  • Collaborating on musical works
  • Music industry practices
  • Co-writer issues
  • Using samples, and permissions
  • Music supervision
  • Temp track similarities

Ask us anything you wish. If your question requires a more complex response, we will recommend a phone conversation. Furthermore, we are musicologists, not attorneys. Our replies are based on music industry practices, and are not legal advice. These informal communications are provided as a service at no charge, and are offered as music industry guidance. 

If you have specific concerns or more complex issues, please contact us at to schedule a more detailed conversation.

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