Suing Over Music Notes?


Led Zeppelin is being sued.  This is very obvious because BBC is all over it so I’m not going to go into great detail about why.  The problem is that a U.S. judge thinks that the opening chord progression of Stairway to Heaven was ripped off of a song called Taurus by the band Spirit.  Let’s play them back to back for comparison’s sake, shall we?

Here is Stairway.

Here is Taurus

Let’s break this down further.  There are similarities between the two.  They’re both in A minor and have descending root notes in their broken chords going from A to Ab to G to Gb to F.  However. the arpeggios after the root notes in both songs are completely different. Led Zeppelin’s Arpeggios vary after each root note is struck where as Spirit’s arpeggio is a short B to C after each root note in the broken chord.

In reality, the only thing being sued for in this case is the A, Ab, G, Gb, F being played after each other.

Lots of bands have done this over the years, in many different keys mind you.  Even some of my own compositions have this sort of trick going on.

Here are some examples from another English rock band that use a similar progression and style.

In short.  Why pick on Led Zeppelin when other artists do this too?  Are they all to go on trial?


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