Online Discussion #4 is available for comments February 27-March 6. The rubric I’ll be using to grade your participation and a description of these assignments is available here.


 

For most Online Discussions, I choose a topic I want to cover, but some discussions are suggested by students—this one is an example of the latter.

Last semester, a student told me that pop music was more creative and better than classical music because it had remixes. And not just that it had remixes but that it invented them. This conversation took place late in the semester, and I realized, for the first time in several years of teaching, that I’d been presenting classical music as if every work was original—inspired by the past and fitting within an inherited framework, to be sure, but original. I had been blinded by my effort to portray a coherent narrative of musical history, representative pieces of each time period, and hugely influential works. And this meant that I had omitted an enormous swath of musical output: the pastiche, the parody, or the remix.

One of my favorite remixed ear-worms comes in MC Solaar’s 1997 “Paradisiaque”:

 

It samples Diana Ross’s 1976 “Love Hangover,” and it feels like MC Solaar was inspired to re-imagine the first song in a new way (more specifically, MC Solaar’s work adds a new vocal layer on top of and bass line under an edited, sped-up version snipped of the introduction from Ross’ hit)

 

By this definition (a musician is inspired to do something new with a musical idea that’s already been created), classical musicians remix all the time! Taking a melody and dressing it up in new musical clothes (new instrumentation, new harmony, new texture, new added countermelody) is the defining feature of nearly all classical music. As we’ll see in class, the most common form used by musicians from the 1750s to today, sonata form, relies on “remixing” for the entirety of its development section.

Time travel and musicking

Remixes are also a call-back to Online Discussion #3—listening to remixed, sampled, or reworked pieces like this can be an even richer experience (i.e., one that has more layers and nuance) if you are familiar with the original version; it’s like you’re experiencing two pieces at once!

This is what happens to my sister’s mom, a sweet 70-something-year-old lady who becomes both confused and disappointed when this song comes on the radio (Mary J. Blige and Method Man, “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need”, 1995—and version is itself a remix of Method Man’s 1994″All I Need”!)…

…because she starts experiencing this one in her head (Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “You’re All I Need to Get By,” 1968):

Sampling, remixing, or covers often arise out of admiration: enjoying another’s work in such a way that it inspires you to do something new with it. Or the sampled work is really catchy and the musician can’t get it out of their head when they sit down to compose or create.

The armed man

That’s the case with what may be the most-borrowed song you’ve never heard of, a pop song of the Renaissance era, L’homme armé (The armed man):

Text translation:

The armed man should be feared.
Everywhere it has been proclaimed
That each man shall arm himself
With a coat of iron mail.
The armed man should be feared.

Composers used this little ditty as the basis of dozens of other works, notably masses (the prayers of the Catholic Church). The melody would be sung in one of the voice parts, with new harmonies composed to sit on top of or underneath it. There are 40 surviving works from the 15th and 16th centuries that use L’homme armé as their starting point and then remix the original melody. Here is one from Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474):

Sometimes non-musicians didn’t even know they were listening to a popular song woven into their prayers, and this became a source of contention in the Catholic Church and was abolished during the Counter-Reformation (1545-63). We’ll revisit this issue of what’s considered “appropriate” in religious settings in class later in the semester.

The birth of polyphony

Using an existing melody (often something popular, like a children’s song or drinking song) as the basis of a new piece of music was common outside of religious music, too. This was one of the avenues via which composers in the Renaissance experimented and discovered the art of writing pleasing polyphony: starting with an established melody that already works musically and adding something to it. A motet, for example, was a genre of song that often featured a borrowed melody with new melodies added on top (polyphony), usually with the new melodies sung in a different language!

Aucun vont / Amor qui cor / Kyrie (Anonymous) is an example of a motet in 3 languages: French (highest), Latin (middle), and Greek (lowest). Each one is about different levels of love: the French line is about those who are unfaithful in relationships; the middle line says that those who love ephemeral, worldly things have less room for God in their hearts; and the lowest line sings “Kyrie eleison” (Lord, have mercy)—devotional love. It’s a re-imagining of a common idea (the Kyrie, which we’ve heard an example of in class), dressed up in a totally new musical context.

Variations

Another kind of “remix” is the kind found in concert showpieces: opportunities for a performer to show off brilliant technique by adding variations to an existing melody. It was quite common in the 19th century for a traveling composer-performer to adapt the melodies of whatever opera was hot at the time into of a set of fantasy-variations on it. Audiences loved to hear melodies they already knew from the opera (much like we often love a good sample in hip-hop today), and they enjoyed being impressed with the performer’s virtuosity.

Composing a set of variations could also be a way for a composer to elevate a boring piece of music or flex their compositional chops. Ludwig van Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, Op. 120 (1823) begin with an innocuous tune (composed by Anton Diabelli) and take it on a remarkable, virtuosic journey:

A composer might also write a set of variations on their own music—remixing themselves, in effect. Kanye is not the first musician to be inspired by his own work! For example, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (1741) were written, as the story goes, to be played to lull an insomniac aristocrat to sleep, and they begin with a simple melody (an aria) written by Bach:

Finally, there’s a more abstract kind of remix that crops up all the time in the classical music world in the form of rehashing a trope or general idea which another artist has already explored. We’ve already seen Tchaikovsky’s ballet Sleeping Beauty (Online Discussion #2), which presented a new take on the well-known fairy tale: it effectively remixes the story in a new medium. Other works reinterpret a familiar character by placing them in a new context: Orpheus from Greek mythology and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust were and continue to be two extremely common topics of musical inspiration and reimagining.

Most abstractly, composers create symphonies, string quartets, piano sonatas, and other genres that have been done thousands of times before, reusing forms and gestures—the framework they use to present their musical ideas isn’t original, but their surface-level musical ideas (melody, harmony, texture, instrumentation) can be: they remix the form. In doing so, they’re checking off all the boxes that broadly define “remix”: 1) being inspired by or admiring previous artists’ work, 2) creating a situation in which the listener can simultaneously experience past works that share some musical DNA, and 3) the work is a response or continuation of an ongoing discussion between artists.

Final thoughts

The more abstract or broad the definition of “remix” becomes, the less room there is for anything to be considered original at all. If, as James Baldwin (1965) argues, “history is literally present in all that we do,” that we are “unconsciously controlled” by history and the framework and systems we inherit, then we are not free to do absolutely anything we choose. We are not free to create out of the blue—everything is a reaction to something that has come before, whether we act in admiration or in rejection or even in ignorance, we have still reacted to what we inherit.

One student last semester wrote a blog post about his effort to grapple with the fact that sampling means a musician’s work isn’t 100% original. Originality as a synonym for  creativity is often something that we say we value. But I would argue that we devalue creativity by lumping it together with originality—we are not creative because we are original, but rather we are creative despite the fact that we are unoriginal. It is the constraints of unoriginality that allow for creativity at all.

-Dr. J.

 

Questions to get the conversation started:

Don’t feel like you need to answer all of these questions, and there’s no need to restate the question in your comment. Think of your responses to these questions as interesting things you would say out loud—be clear, be concise, and leave room for others to respond. The most effective comments are brief, contain specific examples, and would feel reasonable to say in a stimulating conversation to another person directly.

  1. Do you find any of the “remixes” presented in this discussion to be more “original” than the others? Why?
  2. Why do you think people often value or appreciate the idea of “originality”? How do you define “originality” (particularly in light of the broadened definition of “remix” used in this discussion)? Does originality exist?
  3. Thinking back to Online Discussion #3, what kind of “unstuck” experiences have you had while listening to a remix, sample, or cover?

108 thoughts on “Remixes (Online Discussion #4)

  1. I actually do not find any of the remixes presented above to be more “original” than the others because if you really sit down and think about it. What is to be original? Original: “Present or existing from the beginning; first or earliest or created directly and personally by a particular artist; not a copy or imitation.” Even when an artist is making a remix because it is entirely a new song, I believe it’s somewhat original. Just because one song is older than the other, I don’t believe that makes it more original. Everyone has a different style, taste, way of thinking, forming music; therefore the remix the person is making can make an “original song” for them.

    People often value or appreciate the idea of originality only because the person who is making the music deserves the recognition. Not only that but also the fact that sometimes when people say original, I think of old songs. Meaning that the song has been around for so long, individuals might find it more “original.”

    Originality may not exist in the literal sense, but the perception of originality is definitely possible, due to the massive amount of variety of any thing, idea, situation, etc you can have.

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    1. How can a remix be original? If it is original it has to be created from nothing, from an idea or thought, but when you do a remix you are taking something thats already there and reusing it to your benefit and to your idea of what is right. So I don’t think you can call a remix original, because of they key concept of the term remix. What do you think?

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      1. I agree, a remix is a person’s variation of a current song or idea I feel that they should not be able to make it an original without the owners permission.

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      2. Honestly remixes can’t be original. The whole concept of it is adding ideas or your own contribution to something that’s been created. It’s different version of a musical recording produced by remixing. When you remix a song, you’ve created what copyright law calls a “derivative work”. Generally, one is supposed to have permission from the original copyright owner to create and as well as distribute the work they made.

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        1. I actually disagree. I definitely think remixes can be original. I mainly listen to house music and DJ’s remix other DJ’s/singers songs all the time, but every DJ has their own “signature sound” so to say, and it’s found in their original works. So when they remix another DJ’s song they’re just adding their signature sound to it on top of the original work and that sound can’t be duplicated because if you’re a really good DJ no one else in the industry has the same exact sound as you.

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          1. That’s a really good point, famous DJ’s make millions just remixing music. Even though all the sounds they play are samples or portions of other songs they still release whole albums of their works as something fresh and new, which proves that originality is not just creating out of nothing, it is also creating something beautiful with whatever you have at hand.

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      3. i mean in a sense i think you can. but i get the aspect of remaking. b it its a remake of the original meaning not the same. so it could probably be justified as the original remix, b because there has been multiple remix but who did it first?

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    2. You have a point leslypina. But I’d add that though originality can be perceived, yet it needs to be tangible and on record, which when it does, becomes unoriginal. Think of it, can you tell me what in this life, (in almost all ramifications) that has never been before???
      That being said, history is cyclical and even though musicians struggle to create something new in every sense it still has been done before. After all music is all about mixing the notes in an organized sense to produce a sweet melody. It’s the same thing you are doing, I’m doing, the professor is doing, Bach, Handel, Kanye, Selena and so on are doing. The only thing I could say that attracts more fans and applause to the musician is the quality of his own work that is- the voice, style and mixture which still, has been done in the past. I guess I made a point.

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    3. I agree with your opinion on originality. Understanding that it doesn’t exist in the literal sense Is important but it is also important to understand the meaning behind the word original when it comes to the music industry. It can be referring to many different aspects of music.

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    4. What do you think the artist feels when his song is being remixed by various dj’s and is sold better than the original song?

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      1. The artist will feel awful and at the same time jealous on the outcome of being sold better than the original and will be dissatisfied on the new version of his or her song. On the other hand, the artist may possibly respect or may possibly admire the fact how another can make his or her song in a different way.

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  2. I believe a remixed version of a song contains just as much originality and creativity as the “original “. As stated in the discussion ” we are not creative because we are original, but rather we are creative despite the fact that we are unoriginal.” I agree with this, an artist who may remix a song is adding his or her mix or style to something that had previously inspired them, ultimately making it their own new creative and original piece.

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    1. I agree with that but do the Dj’s still give credit to the original artist? Because at the end of the day the DJ who remixes the song is still using the original artist words that’s why I can’t really see it as their own original peice but it is creative when it comes to the beat.

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    2. I agree many artists who remix another artist work is more like adding in what he feels about that song and making it a massive beat altogether as one.

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  3. I agree with James Baldwin’s argument, ” history is literally present in all that we do.” The present time we are living in was in some sort of way shaped from what happened in the past…”history “. Everything we do in todays time, this present time we are in, whether we realize it or not is controlled by something we may have done in the past or maybe history in general has influenced. We use what we have learned or witnessed and apply it to ourselves now. So just like a remixed song, an artist uses opportunities from the past to shape his or her future song. Not lacking any less creativity then the original.

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    1. i completely agree with you there is always a original without a hard copy we can’t make the remixes and changes that we do today but i can’t help but wonder how far does music go back i mean when did music first start or be discovered whats the original of the original?

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  4. when i first started to listen to the first video i was like i can’t understand anything then i realized it was on a different language but yes you can tell the difference the remixes missed with the originals make it how can i say a bit more interesting and creating like it gives it a bit of an edge and style very different from classical calming music. to me the first one was sort of mysteries and i mean it had a nice beat but it started of a bit creepy and gloomy to begin with although not that much of that just more mysterious as for the second one it was in english for starters lol and it has a change around the middle and gives it the pulse we practiced in class a few times it starts and even gives you a feeling of like a love song but then it becomes up beat and in the background you can hear i don’t know if their snapping or clapping or both but they do something that gives it that pulse and the words are pretty much the same so the remixing are kind of like a makeover they play around and develop new ideas that they portray. anyway the sonata video kind of confused me a bit i mean i do understand what he was trying to explain the development of music and remixes just the way he explained kind of rattled my brain anyway moving on to the fourth piece “you’re all i need” now there was quite a few things going on in that intro i liked how in began with the women voice i didn’t expect the things that followed though the sudden beats and voices and all this different stuff going on and then comes to a stop when the man starts to rap i actually liked this song cuz i mean if you only saw the tittle then you would or most people would expect in my opinion a love song with a flowing soft and sad rhythm but there can be rap songs that give the meaning and message as well as any other i did also like how it took its time to end as if some one was just lowering the volume, now when i listened to the i think it was fifth video also called “you’re all i need” once it started it immediately reminded of the song before that not for the title or lyrics but the way it started what the same way the other song had ended and yes the lyrics are similar as well it kind of has a similar meaning except the man and women are more upbeat and sing together the same lyrics mostly instead of having the guy rap and the woman do some kind of harmony and maybe I’m wrong but i could also be write when i say the second song could be remix of the first or something related because they do mirror eat other now for “l’homme arme” that was um quite something i tried to connect the words but i couldn’t really replace them it was definitely different and had different echoes that i think they were either echoes or other voices it was actually nice . as for the second version “missa l’homie arme” it was defiantly slower than the one before and the voices where higher l
    the last one was probably in minor key and their one was in major key it definitely did sound like a religious song not gonna lie it was kind of depressing and relaxing all at once but the way they take their time with the words saying them slowly and keeping it steady for some time thats awesome as far as singing comes it did give a sense of oprah but not that much but it was different from the last the song posted first for polyphony was a bit similar to the last church one but in all males and it did have a lot of voices again similar in some ways and different in others again don’t know what their saying but i get a idea of the rhythm and melody and voice it kind of sets a mood. “carmen fantasy” how ever was really nice i liked the sound of the flute and piano together the second piece they played reminded of agraba from aladin a bit but thats just me but both the man as the women where very talented as they changed from fast to slow from high to low it was very impressive and i gotta say i loved the sound of it. as for the one by bethoven it had one thing in common with “carmen fantasy” and that is the change in rhythm that i mentioned as for the piece of bach i believe it was the last one it was very relaxing and soothing the piano the sound and the way he plays he really was very talented when listening it just brings a cal setting and mood like he’s hypnotizing you you can imagine anything you want and change your setting you can even fall asleep and dream with this music on its very beautiful until he changes to something even more upbeat and so on and so forth but either way he sets it it gives a kind of happy mood nothing scary of course i couldn’t listen to all of it cuz some of the videos where hours long but from what i heard it was beautiful and i hope to one day be that talented

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  5. so i have a question all of these remixes are made a lot easier with the advancement of todays technology but what if the technology hadn’t been here or maybe not as advanced do you guys think we still would have found a way around it to make remixes in a different form or that todays technology is essential?

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    1. I think the technology is necessary. Because if we don’t use the technology, we will not find out some new things to make our music more variable.

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    2. i believe that even without technology man would have found a way to make a remix. there are many different people with a unique type of talent. for example a human beat-box, they don’t need technology to make different types of sounds and beats with there mouths.

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    3. I don’t necessarily believe that we need today’s technology to make a remix to a song. Many people can make incredible beats from just using their hands, mouths, bells, etc.

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  6. I think no because without these advancement in todays technology the music will be the same style or similar

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  7. I heard good and bad remixes. Some songs shouldn’t be turned into remix because it won’t be good as the original version. Question to all: what do you think about remixes, good or bad?

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        1. I completely agree with Vtsoumpariotis, everybody has different taste, therefore what you consider “bad” others may disagree.

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    1. It’s tricky because everyone has their own style. A person who might think a remix is horrible others might like it or think highly of it.

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    2. @brandonkt722.. I agree that not all remixes are better than the original, some songs you just don’t mess with but I do think remixes are good; they’re a plot twist!

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    3. I think depending on each individual perspectives and opinions about the remix musics because everyone have a different thoughts on each music itself.

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      1. Edited
        *I think the remix is depending on each individual perspectives and opinions about the remix musics, it can be good or bad because everyone have a different thoughts on each music itself.

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  8. The idea of originality honestly is a weird concept, because in life we learn techniques, values, and even personality from people around us. Similar to remixes, we as people love to add our own “signature style” on something, not to exactly steal an idea or piece of music but give something more value and taste that can change from person to person. Originality doesn’t exist because everything is ever changing and new ideas erupt constantly, we mix and mold what we have today to create something new later on. Music that has been created recently, are vulnerable for being a remix years from now because of inspiration and the sense to add one’s own taste.
    But what amount of personality and change on past music to make a remix?

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    1. In a way originality does exist because with a little change you’ve added your own style making it original. If it was exactly the same it would be a carbon copy and in some cases considered plagiarism. So I guess you can look at it like this, if you add your own style or “flavor” to the remix and your not getting sued, there’s some originality in there; because you cant get sued for being yourself and that pertains to music or anything in life.

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      1. That’s what I thought about the plagiarism due to copying other’s work but that is when someone does not give credit on the artist when modifying to the original work to its own.

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  9. This is for question 3. Most remixes are always better then the original and vice versa but my unstuck experience to a remix, sample, or cover is that sometimes they do too much extra stuff. Unnecessary beats, sometimes when they say a certain words they say it so strong when it’s not needed, it can be very cringe, but what I hate the most in most remixes is the fact that SOME not all but some remixes repeat the same line within 2min of the song, like come on fam that’s just horrible.

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    1. Well when an artist creates a remix of a song its their rendition of what a perfect track should sound like. They believe that it is not improvable which is the entire reason people create remixes. Its all based on opinion of the new artists background of music. So in reality for you a certain song that is remixed can be cringe worthy but to other people it might be the most amazing thing they have came across.

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  10. Usually when you think of original its less superior in ways that the remix version is depending on the taste of music you are looking forward to create. The original track is the base that can be manipulated in any way that the person making the remix is choosing to do. A remix is a remake and and depending on your vision is supposed to make perfections of a song that the person found to be an imperfection hence for the reason of them altering that aspect of the song. Usually nowadays you have remixes which usually include more artists on the track adding new verses and style to the piece or they transform it into a dance song. Also a remix can be a totally different songs using different context to create different verses using key elements of the original song for example most songs that are remixed keep the same chorus. On these songs that was in the article I felt that they weren’t more original than the original because from the way that im looking into this, it just sounds like an upgraded version to be more modern and in-tune with the times.

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    1. Remix may not be really to improve a music. It is more of an expansion/modification, alternation and collaboration to suite the remixer’s desire.
      As you said, in some remixes more artists join. Yeah that’s right. It’s collaboration- most of the time they join because they found the music verily interesting and sweet and therefore want to be a part.
      On another occasion, a language with which a music is written can be alternated to another in a remix so as to make the music one for that particular people that own the language.

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  11. In reply to question 3, I have encountered an amazing experience that opened me up to various individuals roots. In the 90’s a live tv show that went by the name of “The Mickey Mouse Club” (Which consisted some of today’s artist such as Britney Spears, Ryan Gosling, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, etc, in the time they were children) aired in front of a live tv audience where they preformed humorous skits and did remixes to songs which were popular at the time and songs which were well known. And watching reruns of this show, I came to realize the songs the cast preformed were songs Ive once heard and werent really crazy about. When I experienced hearing these songs by people I was familiar with, These songs began to appeal to me and Ive added quite a few to my playlist. So the whole idea of my experience while listening to these remixes helped me expand my taste in music and changed opinion about remixes. And personally Im not a big fan of remixes because I cant give the composer any credit because it wasnt naturally their idea for the songs. But it turns out hearing remixes by artists I am familiar with changed my whole idea on how I perceived hearing them.

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  12. Remixes are a very interesting topic in my personal opinion. There is a grey area between originality and remixes, this is due to how the song itself was altered. Even if it was a small sample being used and altered into a loop can be called a remix by some musicians. They’re some problems that come with making remixes and trying to profit off of it, the original artist may choose to sue or call copyright. I think you simply have to tread lightly when creating remixes for a living. Would anyone want to live off of making remixes? How would you feel about it.

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  13. Method Man and Mary J Blige’s remix of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “You’re all I need” was very different and original. One thing I’d like to point out is the chorus in the original and the remix was similar. When it comes to remixes originality means to make the song something new while still holding on to parts of the original. Meaning, we can tell it’s the same song but we can also tell that it’s redone.

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    1. Do you think using the same hook/chorus is the reason people feel the remixed version isn’t original?
      I’ve noticed when only the beat is reused, people still consider the song original, but when a portion is reused, people feel its not as original because it’s the same lyrics.

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  14. What an impression this piece made on me!!!

    I for one always want and value originality…you know, something from the blues, a kind of music no one has ever done before. So I think people want to create an original work to make them stand out of the millions of musicians; keep their music and name alive for a very long time; earn greater respect and be elevated above other musicians; and set the record for other musicians, I.e., be the one other musicians remix their music and serve as motivation for upcoming musicians.

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  15. If history is cyclical and as efer101 commented, we learn things from people around us, can there be an original music in all ramifications? Can this be worked on? If not me, is there any other musician that can still be able to make something totally out of the blue? Unheard of?

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  16. I love to search on the internet to listen to some remixed music like this kind (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_q9W_yyw_w ) to test how many songs I listen this year. And I love this kind of music, the person who made this just use the chorus in popular song and mix it together. I love to listen to it and guess the song I heard.

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  17. This article raises a good argument in which the concept and idea of “originality” in music is in question. In my opinion I believe that the idea of a song or an artist being considered or portrayed as original is highly valued and appreciated more so than one that is not. I believe this is because listeners love to hear new music that is considered fresh and sounds like music that has never been written before. Before I read this article, my opinion of what is considered originality when it comes to music would have been a song that has a melody, tune, beat and lyrics that was put together in a way that no one has ever done so before. Now after having read this article, my opinion has changed because I’ve realized not only how often music is remixed but also how influential artist back in the day are on our modern artist we have today. Many artist will say that past artist have had an influence on their sound. For example, the Weekend’s new single “I feel it coming” sounds very similar to many Michael Jackson songs. I now do not believe that originality exist because of how often remixes are created but that does not mean music that is remixed can not be impactful and popular. As seen in the article when Mary J. and Method Man remixed “Your all that I need”, it was a successful song that I’m sure many, including myself, did not know was a remix from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Going forward this semester I look forward to discovering more music that was written in the past and remixed recently in my generation.

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  18. Can anyone think of an artist who is currently still active today that reminds you of an artist who is no longer active, in regards to their musical sound and genre?

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  19. When it states “a musician is inspired to do something new with a musical idea that’s already been created), classical musicians remix all the time” in all honesty what makes a musician special is the sense of individuality and having to create their own style of music and their own lyrics, melody, harmony etc. we see an artist now and days we can see the unique qualities they have that make them the artist they have become. I don’t agree with the whole concept of remix or imitation. If you want to succeed as an individual why not be your self. At the end of the day your followers get inspired by ones distinctive style. Why not keep it like that? Any thoughts..

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    1. mhmm, that’s the thing. There is not an artist in today’s music that is a 100% original and unique. Because everyone is being or was influenced by something or someone else either consciously or subconsciously. As we read on the blog ”We are not free to create out of the blue—everything is a reaction to something that has come before, whether we act in admiration or in rejection or even in ignorance, we have still reacted to what we inherit.”

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  20. A remix is one’s personal twist to someone’s creation. When someone remixes a song they are expressing their feelings and thoughts about the original piece or they just want to personalize the piece to best suite their taste. Remixes are as creative as any original work of art because it shows how an artist can creatively heighten a piece to suite the liking of the time period and generation. Remixes allow people to hold on to their past, happy moments even childhood memories, while still being able to keep up with whats happening, which can be important to parents especially. However, people often appreciate originality more than a remixed version because people don’t often appreciate change and alterations to what they know. In my opinion remixes are like time travel; one minute you’re reminiscing and the next you’re trying not to feel so old when you hear these dressed up versions of tunes from what seems like forever ago!

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  21. A question to ask ourselves is would music be such an experience if it were all the same and nobody wanted to try anything new/different???

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    1. Yes. We need a new thing to make our life more variable. If you keep doing the same thing again and again, you will be bored with it. Many kinds of music will make our life more good.

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    2. I think if music was a monotonous concept that didn’t change, wouldn’t be consider to be art because it will lack all the spontaneity it has and all the things that makes it so beautiful and vast.

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  22. I think most people will love the melody you hear first about a song, so if you heard the original melody first, you will love it, and when you hear the remix next, you will feel wired. It kind of depends on what you hear first, your brain will remember the melody, therefore, you will be familiar with it. In addition, if this song is popular, the more you can hear, the more you will reject the remix song.

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  23. if the word “originality” means something that never existed until now then i would say yes , originality does exist but however i define originality as new creation that built up on a old thought . i think people appreciate originality because originality is something different and unique and it didn’t existed before and we all know that we get tired of things easily and we demand something new . The idea of originality attracts us and i think this is why people people value the idea of originality

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  24. In your Final Thoughts it made think of remixing as it relates to life. In a way everything in this world has been remixed taking away some originality but adding more in a sense. I say this because everything builds off of something, especially today where almost everything possible has already been done. For example the school system wasn’t always what it was today. Some classes have been added and taken out and its nothing like it was in say the 18 or 1900’s. Even now when we get a new Secretary of Education the school system changes or is in other words “remixed”. Additionally look at your touch screen cell phone. Cell phones used to be these big objects that couldn’t even fit in your pocket and had terrible connection. They kept evolving until Steve Jobs came along and “remixed” those phones into the best phone on the planet, the iPhone. That’s an example of taking away some originality while adding some of your own. Look at your TV, “originally” they were small and in black and white, then got “remixed” in to big color TV’s and finally they got “remixed” into that bomb flat screen on your wall. All support Baldwin’s notion that “everything is a reaction to something that has come before”.

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    1. i see where you’re getting at, the past are standing ground for the future to keep on evolving with us as time goes by.

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    2. Off topic, but iPhones are awful (although I own one lol) and back on topic, you have a good point. I wouldn’t use the term remix to relate to advances but i understand the concept of your point. Everything has evolved from something before it. It is re-envisioned and then remodeled. That’s how society and the world as a whole progresses. Think back to industrialization. Products, produce being distributed faster and with good quality. Think science and theories. One man has idea, experiments, creates a theory. Years later through the process of replication, studies are redone to see changes and build upon the “original” hypotheses. We are always recreating, that’s what makes us “creative”.

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  25. Originality is having the ability to think or make something creatively and on your own. I think people value originality because its original of course, they value it because it’s something new and fresh it’s something they’ve never heard before. I believe that remixes are original as well, I understand that the melody is the same but the words or maybe even the beat can change and it will still be considered original. Why are remixes considered to be unoriginal?

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    1. I think some people dont see remixes as unoriginal because they are just taking something that someone already wrote and trying to pass it off as their own. But in the case its not true because artist who do remixes always credit the song and artist they remixed off of.

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  26. The definition of originality is defines as the ability to think independently and creatively. Being original is very important in any artistic field and it is also hard. Once artists create a piece of art that’s original others try to copy it or remix it. People still value originality and they crave for it. Once an original piece of art hits the market everyone wants to enjoy it.

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  27. Usually people really love listening to songs that have their own “originality” as the fact of there true creativity and shows how they are individual as an artist and their own views. However though creating remixs also pertain to creativity because they are taking a piece of work they really like and putting their own spin on it. Shows that they can take something a work a little music magic on it, and make it somewhat of their own, by using their own ideals. Also many fans get upset when they hear their favorite artist doesnt create his or her own music, they feel like betrayed because they thought they were getting to know that said artist through their music.

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    1. I liked how you said about how artist or anyone who decides to create those remixes and making it as “… creativity because they are talking a piece if work they really like and putting their own spin on it” which is certainly true.

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  28. I personally think remixes are good in general. They combine two cultures, two or more generations, two king of music, mentality and even societies. It’s like a never ending song with a different touch on it. A GOOD remix adds something different and adds flavor to it. But not all remixes are good, in some cases remixing can go wrong when the pure and real essence and the real intention of the ”original” song is lost. So i think it really depends on how mixing is done. I know there are people who feel the need of being protective and that do not like remixes because they feel the song is being ruined. My attitude towards those people is that we can’t be too conventional towards any change.

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    1. Well I think we are all remixers in some way. When we produce or compose a song we already have some sort of idea of how we want it to sound like, maybe even a genre it could belong to. And (as most of us must be aware right now) since music is rhythm-based we tend to borrow patterns from the very music we like. So, in my opinion “originality” is more about how good you use those prefixed ideas -music theory is another tool everyone uses that is already there, nobody just came up with it to make a song- in a creative way. Of course, the goal must be to add new ideas to the field so art keeps developing.

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  29. Does anyone else think that Remixes can be original? Technically it is, in same way shape or form an original piece because no one remix sounds alike.

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  30. A remix can’t be original because then it doesn’t define what the word original means. Remixes are created from original songs. Remixes don’t have an origin.

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    1. I do agree with what you’re saying, but if an extra sound like beat was added to sound different, comparing it to the original, would you consider that as being original?.

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  31. I guess before thinking if remixes are original or not we must consider if they’re art themselves. If we think of art as the expression of a message it certainly is. In fact, I consider the very act of mixing a song a very artistic matter, from volume levels to effects, every tool on the studio adds or enhances the meaning of a song. So, I believe we can consider remixes as original art pieces, yes they might not be that creative but no mix is like any other one. I think most of the people who have studio experience would agree with me, but I would like to know from the ones that don’t how would you label the act of mixing music, is it art or just a desk job?

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  32. In my opinion originality exists but to a certain extent. There are plenty of artists who create “original” pieces that have never been done before. But at the same time just because we haven’t seen or heard anything like it, doesn’t mean that something similar hasn’t been done before either, we just haven’t heard of it. Everyone draws their aesthetic from someone/something that inspired them. So in a way I feel like we sample and recycle ideas, songs, etc.. from numerous people to create our own “original” work of art. One might ask, If an work of art is sampled from a number of people, is it original?

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  33. A Believe that a good piece of music can and many of them have elements from previous ones. The idea of originality it’s very subjective to the concept that each individual has as “original” as it is mention in the text many artist borrowed ideas from others. This is not only seen in music but in life. The computer wasn’t Invented by apple or Microsoft, they took previous ideas and add more to them. Because we attribute something to a certain person that doesn’t mind is completely theirs or that they are not “original” for taking other’s ideas and giving them their own touch

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      1. An original piece would be something that is being created by one or other artist or person with their thoughts and creativity making a masterpiece “the original”.

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  34. By reading to some of my peers comments I want to ask you guys, what does original means to you? What makes something original and something unoriginal?

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    1. I believe that unoriginality comes from stealing ideas and claiming them as one’s own and something that is original comes from your own mind and heart.

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      1. I agree. But what if you take someone idea and make something out of it completely different, would that be unoriginal?

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        1. it couldn’t be completely different if it was someone else’s idea but I see what you’re saying. I feel it would be unoriginal because it’s not your idea.

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    2. What makes something original is not what you do, or what you say. Original comes from how you do things and how you say things, and also what unique art you can create using your own vision and technique, this can be considered “original” also For example If you’re an artist musician, and you’re known to speak of economic brutalities, your voice, tone, instrumental and beat are seemingly bitter and maybe dwelling on specifics such as disasters committed by the capitalism, and the economical system and etc, you’re also famous and well known for doing this particular type of music. you have to be seen as an original considering you’re the first to do it.

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  35. I believe that people value originality because it makes things more meaningful. If someone finds a way to be original, then that means they care enough to sit down and think about how to make this happen. Originality isn’t is something that is fairly simple to come across because a person would have to start an idea from scratch. I believe originality can be defined as something that is created personally from thought for a specific reason, whether it is an idea or something physical like an invention.

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  36. Replying to question number one, I do think that the remixes in the read are to me more original than the others. Why? Because I honestly have to relate to this when I listen to a song that is a remix and at the end of the day I am downloading the song with the remix because it feels more alive and something I’d rather listen to.

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  37. Are remixes considered original content? If so, how can this be? Originality comes from one’s own ideas and remixes can’t be original if they are using someone else’s idea in my opinion.

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    1. I feel some of the remixes/covers are better than the others. It always depends on the person who is doing the cover/remix. With the Mary J. Blidge cover I feel that the beat was a little bit more calm than the original. Maybe because her voice is more soft than Mary J. Blidge.

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      1. But Just because she made it soft and sweet doesn’t mean it’s original. Original is something you created by yourself and for yourself.

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      2. I do think she made a difference how she sounds singing the song, but I would not say it’s better than the original piece.

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  38. I believe people value originality because it makes that music separate from what it normally sounds like.

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  39. i feel that some remixes are better than others and sometimes i feel the song didn’t need a remix so i don’t typically care for it if the remix doesn’t sound good, or doesn’t do the song justice.

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  40. I believe that people value and appreciate the idea of originality because its hard to duplicate and have the same type of quality as the first. i honestly don’t believe originality still exist because its more so of the cliche of “nothings new under the sun”. i strongly agree with this and if there is something close to being original and new I’m sure the idea sprouted from some where else.

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    1. You say originality doesn’t exist anymore do you think it’s because the world feels its overrated?

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  41. I read through a lot of this discussion and it’s interesting to see how everyone feels about remixes and what it means to be “original”. First, I’d like to state that Online Discussion #3 (Time Travel and Musicking) definitely made me think about samples and remixes because when an “original” is taken and modified, a new generation gets to enjoy a piece that is in respect to their “time” and also has a vintage aspect to it. For me, sampling, remixing and any spin on an older piece, connects the old and the new or past and present. For some (like Dr. J’s 70 year old friend) remakes might take away from the experience of a song because of the expectation to hear the original. For others, being able to play the new version and go back and hear the old version, might just add more richness to the listening experience. Granted, not all remixes are phenomenal, but again that depends solely on the listener. We’ve all come to the understanding that a listening experience varies immensely from person to person. I personally appreciate remixes, samples, covers and all the ways different people project a piece. The Weeknd is known for his tributes to the King of Pop Michael Jackson. Audiences still consider The Weeknd to be original and some disagree because of his vocal similarities. However, his image, music videos, song topics are different than MJ’s. This is where we can examine what does it mean to be original? Originality in a musical sense is viewed as an individual creating their own pieces from scratch. They alone or with assistance create the beat, lyrics and imagery to bring the piece together. HOWEVER, creativity for me is always derived from a muse. There’s something out there that ignited the idea to do something even greater and in a new form. I feel like remixes aren’t exactly “original” but they are a new perception of an old invention. We should learn to appreciate the roots of a piece. We all have origins and therefore everything we do is a result of an action that already happened. We should enjoy what we have but remember how we got there as well.

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  42. Tell me if I am wrong or what not, although remixes are more like original songs mixing into other types of other genres of music. Don’t we call them DJs in todays musical industries? Since a DJ would pick out an original song that is either popular or not and make a mash up into another song or a tone, mixing it all together and creating a remixed songs. What I have noticed is that almost every artist has a separate album of remixes musics from different DJs. Of course, the DJs should be notifying the person that created the song for permission to use it to add a little spice of there own. According to this website https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ50.pdf, understand that “…others are permitted to make subsequent sound recordings, they must compensate the copyright owner of the musical work under the compulsory licensing provision of the law (17 U.S.C. §115).” (United State Copyright Office)

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  43. From my perspective originality comes from within. It is something unique that cannot be mimicked fully, though plagiarism is always concluded. I believe something unique is something one of a kind per say a celebrity is known, most likely for a talent in music, including his songs and solos, using “Justin Bieber” as a reference, he’s seen to be original, and for example he relates to variations with his unique and adaptive technique.

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  44. I think people value oringinalty because it’s special it’s something that no one could steal. I define it as raw and natural. People who invent songs and not just sampling sometimes make music that people never heard in their life, that cause a lot of people to like the song which makes it a number one hit because of its originality. They’re many example of originality in artist for example (Biggie small), (Lauren hill) (Jimmy Hendrix) (Bob Marley) these people had something special which I call originality.

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  45. As I read and listened to Online Discussion #4 on remix, I remembered how most people that I met disliked the remix but instead the original version because the changer(s) modify its music differently the way his or her own style of music. If a person did like “X” music but someone remixed it and becomes “Y” then the chances liking “Y” is terrible on the it due to changes on the “X” such as on the music reviews and on the music rates.

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  46. Some of the remixes were pretty good, but I would’nt say its better than the originals, but that’s my opinion. The first remix I liked, since it’s in another language. The remix I wouldn’t it’s better but it’s still good, it’s the one with Mary J. Blige featuring Method Man, but what’s unique about this remix it’s not all singing, there’s a little bit of rapping, so I’m pretty sure were trying to do something.

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  47. What Piece of Music? have you witnessed and listened to, than told yourself, this here.. Is indeed true art and a beautiful piece of original music with much joy and excitement!!

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