Steve Nathanson from Same That Tune was kind enough to answer some questions for The A Cappella Blog about what his site is and how it might help the a cappella community.
“Same That Tune is a fun song comparison site that lets people hear, comment and vote on perceived similarities between songs,” Nathanson explained. “I’ll often hear a song on the radio and think, ‘This sounds really familiar, or it sounds exactly like xyz song.’ Most of us have experienced this phenomenon to some degree, but not everyone is able to identify the ‘copied’ or ‘influential’ song or explain the similarity. I thought it would be great to have a site that demystifies the familiar feeling by explicitly citing and analyzing songs.”
“Anyone can post a comparison on the site, once they’ve logged-in,” he said. “Registration is absolutely free, and if preferred, users can login with an existing account from Facebook, Twitter, or Google. They simply need to know the title and artist for each of the songs being compared, and they’ll be given the chance to select an accompanying video.”
Same That Tune has garnered attention for calling attention to similarities between
Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” and Nathanson indicated the site was among the first to post about the common ground shared between Sara Bareilles’s “Brave” and Katy Perry’s “Roar.” An international audience has gotten involved, too, to underscore parallels between songs from different cultures and genres.
“A cappella groups can gain a wealth of knowledge by scrolling through Same That Tune posts, which can be leveraged for mash-ups, harmonies, and transitions,” Nathanson said. “Our comparisons frequently provide song structure, tempo (beats per minute), keys, chord progressions, and influences. For example, our analysis of Pharrell Williams’s ‘Happy’ reveals that the chord progression for its chorus (C#maj7-Cmin7-Cmin7-Fmajor) shares the same first two chords and rhythm as the choruses for Nicolette Larson's “Lotta Love,” Little Anthony and the Imperial's 1965 classic ‘Hurts So Bad,’ and Minnie Ripperton's ‘Loving You.’ We hope that the next great a cappella mash-up can come from our site!” Nathanson went on cite Pentatonix’s “Evolution of Music” as one of his favorite medleys to recently emerge from the a cappella world.
“While creating a comparison, users are free to select any criteria they wish,” Nathanson said, “comparisons typically feature musical criteria, such as tempo, key, chord progression, lyrics, melody, harmony, production/arrangement, bass part, guitar part, piano part, etcetera. Also, we require selection of a genre. The great thing about all of the metadata we collect is that it’s very easy to connect the dots and discover musical influences.
In closing, Nathanson observed that, “A Cappella requires a fantastic sense of rhythm, pitch, and dedication. Same That Tune’s community is equally serious-minded about music, and our posts reflect a strong musical aptitude … Those interested, can learn some of the musical structure and theory behind each song [through the site].”
You can visit Same That Tune for yourself here.