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Eurovision Song Copy Scandal

Germany is abuzz over accusations that its 2013 Eurovision nominee, Cascada, copied the song of 2012’s winner, Loreen. (Cascada’s Glorious is here; Loreen’s Euphoria is here.) Here’s Der Spiegel’s report:

Phonetician Tina John confirmed the plagiarism claims. “‘Glorious’ is a copy of ‘Euphoria’ with subtle stylistic differences,” she said. In terms of beat, vocals and pauses, the songs are very similar. “The vocals at the start are completely identical,” she adds. “The refrain uses the same emphasis and works up to a climax in an identical way. The singer even uses the same breathing style.”

I don’t know the European case law on proving copying, but it seems to me that the motivation of Cascada’s critics here may be less about giving full credit to Loreen’s genius than it is to discredit an entire genre of music. The homeland of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms has always had an uneasy relationship with Europop. Just as rock purists pounced on Nickelback’s “self plagiarism,” the guardians of Teutonic high culture seem eager to banish Cascada from the firmament of musical stars. Despite her Eurovision victory in 2010, I don’t expect Lena to be welcomed to Walhalla any time soon.