The approximate reading time of this post is 15 minutes, not counting any audio media. It covers how musicians borrow and adopt instruments or sounds from different individuals, from parts of the world, from different genres, and from different socio-economic identities, blurring the sense of what is “authentic” along the way.
As you learn about the different ways musical ideas migrate across the globe and across different time periods, think about how some of these might no longer be possible or will only continue in very different ways based on how our world has changed as a result of Covid-19 in the just the past few months.
Part I: Examples of migrating sounds
As consumers and audience members, it’s easy for us to take musical sounds for granted—it seems like those sounds emerge out of nowhere, just for us, in that moment when we listen. But sounds come from somewhere—even “new” or “original” musical ideas grow out of or build upon musical ideas that have come before. Musical ideas travel across time, geography, and genre, and the range of things we consume as listeners affects our expectations of how music “should” sound.
Let’s start with some pop music, by way of a piece of classical music. Although Igor Stravinsky composed his ballet The Firebird in 1909, you’ve actually been listening to snippets of it most of your life.
Turtles all the way down
Modern pop music borrows a sound from pop music of the 1980s, and pop music of the 1980s was borrowing from classical music of the early 20th century. But as you know by now, Stravinsky isn’t the beginning of classical music, not by a long shot. The orchestra he used included winds, string, brass, and percussion—and in our discussion on instruments and voice types you noticed that not all of those instruments were used in the earliest symphonies. They all got there somehow.
Let’s take a closer look at percussion instruments as a case study. They add color, rhythm, volume, and power to the sound of an orchestra, and they’re now considered a standard part of that ensemble. But in the Classical era (when the ensemble we call an orchestra first emerged), the ensemble emphasized string instruments, along with a handful of woodwinds, but brass was quite rare and percussion was almost never heard—it wasn’t yet part of the “normal” sounds that European listeners expected from their music.
However, musicians from other parts of the world at that time were making much more use of percussion. In the Ottoman Empire, the Janissary bands that heralded the arrival of the Emperor used percussion and nasal-sounding wind instruments that were unfamiliar, frightening, and powerful-sounding for Europeans.
People living in Europe became familiar with these sounds during the Ottoman-Habsburg Wars (1526-1791), when Turkish armies made use of psychological warfare by having their Janissary bands perform outside the walls of a city under siege, psyching up their own troops and intimidating the citizens trapped inside. For European musicians like Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, these sounds were inspiring—a fresh set of orchestral colors to use and exploit.
In this slow movement from a symphony by Haydn, the percussion makes a grand, heavy entrance at around 1:37, a total contrast to the preceding piano, delicate, sweet sound of the strings and woodwinds (Symphony No. 100 “Military”, II. Allegretto, 1793).
What does it mean to “remix”?
One 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! However, in classical music not every work is wholly original or pretends to be—an enormous swath of musical output is of the kind we can call a pastiche, a parody, or a remix.
One of my favorite remixed ear-worms comes in MC Solaar’s 1997 “Paradisiaque”:
It samples Diana Ross’s 1976 “Love Hangover,” and listening to 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 off the introduction from Ross’ hit).
Let’s define “remixing” as when a musician is inspired to do something new with a musical idea that’s already been created. By this definition, 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, etc.) is the defining feature of nearly all classical music—musical form is just repetition, contrast, and variation. The most common form used by musicians from the 1750s to today, sonata form, relies on “remixing” for the entirety of its development section.
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 song, “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 something new.
The armed man
That’s the case with what may be the most-borrowed song you’ve probably never heard of, a pop song of the Renaissance era, L’homme armé (The armed man):
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).
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.
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. 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 that ends up sounding very little like the original:
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: effectively remixing a familiar story in a new medium. Schubert’s Lied, Der Erlkonig, is a good example of this. 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 re-imagining.
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.
Part II: Modern implications
Perfectionism, “authenticity,” and listener expectations
The thing about all these processes of borrowing, remixing, or using sounds from other regions of the world, other pieces, or other styles is that it shapes the new sense of what’s “normal”—music keeps evolving and sounds keep migrating. The “remixed” version becomes the new barometer of “normal” to be played with or built upon—the Stravinsky orchestra hit becomes the “normal” sound of pop music, with no connection to its classical origins; the percussion of the European orchestra becomes the “normal” instrumentation, with no connection to the Middle East. In particular, the way people make and consume music in the 21st century raises some interesting questions in terms of what is “real”—a topic touched upon in our most recent in-class discussion. The idea of “realness” or “authenticity” comes up when we think about the process of remixing or borrowing more abstract ideas (like style or accents) from other musicians, too.
The ascendancy and primacy of recorded music in the 20th century has changed how music is heard as well as how it is made. Improvements in microphones, mixers, and the advent of digital recording processes and editing software have all made it much easier to produce music that sounds excellent: rich, clear, enticing, and beautiful. Compare these two recordings of Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131 (1826): the first was recorded by the Léner String Quartet in 1924—In addition to the omnipresent hiss of the recording technology itself, the sound is tinny, thin, and far-away, with very little audible dynamic or timbral contrast:
On the other hand, a live performance by the American String Quartet in 2013 is clear, conveys all the nuances and subtleties of the players, and has an overall rich or round sound quality:
The 1924 recording is more likely to be authentic—it took place closer to Beethoven’s lifetime, so the chances that one of the members of the string quartet knew someone who knew Beethoven aren’t impossible. That doesn’t mean it’s a better performance or that a listener would choose it over the 2013 recording.
The ubiquity of recorded music has two major effects on how we consume music and what we expect from it as listeners:
- Music should sound perfect; and
- Music should sound perfect all the time.
These expectations feed into how music gets made. When a classical musician makes an album (except for recordings of live performances), the goal is a product that is worth listening to multiple times, one without glaring flaws. The process is defined by obsessing over details: it is a painstaking marathon of recording every sound over and over again, sometimes playing the same 15 seconds of music (called a “take”) dozens of times to make sure that all aspects of the performance match with what the musician intended (timing, vibrato, intonation, coordination, tone quality). Then, the musician(s) will select the best takes, and the sound engineer will digitally stitch all these patchwork pieces of the performance together so that every single sound is as “perfect” as it can be.
For example, when I recorded a chamber music album in 2016, we took 55 takes of one 9-minute piece of music over the course of a single afternoon—this is quite a small number for a classical recording! A few weeks later, I listened all the takes and told the engineer that I wanted the first 3 notes from take 4, followed by two measures from take 15, then two beats from take 1, etc. all the way through the piece. All the takes are my playing, but I essentially created a Frankenstein performance of it, choosing the mini-performances in which I best executed my intentions. (The album is available here).
Perfectionism is all over the pop music industry, as well. In the past when physical CDs were the primary form of music distribution, the process of releasing music took much longer than it does now. After writing music, recording it in the studio, mixing, and editing, it would take around 6 weeks for the audio to be encoded onto CDs, CD jackets and booklets to be printed, and the product to be physically shipped to record stores. During this time, there would be a press tour to amp up excitement for the release, followed by a release party and scheduled date that consumers could purchase the album in stores. Audiences had to be patient, and artists couldn’t go back an alter their work once the marketing timeline had begun. However, most artists today rely much more heavily (or even exclusively) on digital releases of their work: uploading music to SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, or YouTube. This means that the lead time between finishing a recording and making it available to the public can be reduced to a few hours rather than weeks. It also means that artists don’t necessarily have to adhere to firm deadlines and can instead continue to alter their music as long as they like–if they push back the drop date by a few hours, a couple days, or a year, there isn’t an expensive pre-scheduled marketing campaign or tour that is thrown out of whack. An article by Joe Coscarelli in The New York Times (August 5, 2016) outlines the ways in which established and new artists use the Internet to release their music (and have the flexibility to continue to tweak their tracks to meet their perfectionist creative standards). He discusses primarily Frank Ocean but also Kanye West, Beyoncé, and independent artists: Coscarelli, the Sudden Digital Drop – The New York Times
So what does this perfectionism do to the live music experience? On the classical side, there is a general expectation that the live performance will be as flawless as the studio version. It’s an impossibly high standard! Some audiophiles (people who love recorded sound) find live performances frustrating because the sound is imperfect: musicians make mistakes in live performances, people in the audience cough or shuffle their papers, or the sound in the hall might not be as pure as it is on their home speaker system.
Because most audience members come into contact with pieces of music first through recordings (perfect recordings!), their ears are primed to expect that every time they hear a given piece it will sound just as perfect as their favorite recording. In turn, performers try to give the audience what they want: a flawless performance that matches a great recording. The problem with a flawless performance is that in order to play flawlessly, you must practice flawlessly–over and over and over again, until every sound comes out exactly the same way every single time and matches audience’s expectations. Performers are far less likely today to try something new or unprecedented on stage (or in an audition) than they were in the 19th century or first half of the 20th century.
The expectation that a live performance will match the crisp, coordinated, and sumptuous sound of a recorded album affects how many non-classical musicians perform, as well. Since the 1960s, the use of pre-recorded backing tracks for all or some of the sounds that comprise a “live” performance has become nearly ubiquitous (including vocals, backing vocals, instrumental tracks). There are many possible permutations of this, described here and here. To some degree this makes sense, since performers can’t dance and sing well simultaneously (think about what happens to your voice when you try to talk while jogging or doing jumping jacks). Sometimes “live” performances are completely fake, as with this list of examples from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beyoncé, Eminem, Nirvana, Milli Vanilli, Ashlee Simpson, and Jay-Z. And “Lip Sync Battle” was so popular on Jimmy Fallon that it’s now a well-rated spin-off show hosted by LL Cool J—it’s as if we love the energy and illusion of performance but not necessarily the music making.
Smoke and mirrors: What’s “authentic”?
Despite all the editing that goes on behind the scenes, when we talk about authenticity in music sometimes we’re referring to the heartfelt “self-expression” a singer exhibits—but what if the sentiments being expressed are really someone else’s creation, a manipulation of our expectations as listeners? So much happens behind the scenes in pop music that comprises an artist’s public identity or image: making them sound the way they do by writing lyrics and producing tracks, making them look the way they do through fashion and styling, making them have a particular persona through interview coaching, scheduling appearances at certain events, creating beefs with other artists, or selling photographs to tabloids. An “artist” is oftentimes actually an army of several dozen people working together, perhaps with input from focus groups, to create a coherent marketing product (that happens to include music).
For example, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Kesha, Pink, Nicki Minaj, David Guetta, The Weeknd, Fifth Harmony, Maroon 5, Ace of Base, Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears are all pop artists who present distinctly different personas and musical identities to the public, but much of their music is all written by the same handful of song writers: Max Martin and Dr. Luke (whose work was featured in the video at the beginning of this post), often working together, or Karl Martin Sandberg. Max Martin’s writing credit discography ranges from Bon Jovi to Ariana Grande; Dr. Luke’s is similarly prolific, including Three 6 Mafia and Weezer. Other ubiquitous songwriters who have created the musical identities of headlining artists over the last 30 years include Babyface, Pharrell Williams, RedOne, Rick Rubin, and Sia.
The idea of authenticity is often front-and-center in hip-hop: staying true to oneself, not selling out, or remaining true to one’s home, origins, and community.
“Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?” —Eminem, “The Real Slim Shady” (2000)
“I rap and I’m real / I’m one of the few here.” —Jay-Z, “Real As It Gets” (2009)
“First things first, I’m the realest.” —Iggy Azalea, “Fancy” (2014)
But, Iggy Azalea is liar. She has never been in “da murder business,” and she adopts an accent that implies a different country, ethnic group, and socio-economic class than the reality of her life. Much of the frustration with Azalea’s posturing is that it’s an example of cultural appropriation: she wears the accent like a coat, taking it off whenever she wants, and doing so without having to bear any of the burden of the lived experiences that create that traditionally black sonic identity. When she takes it off, she gets to return to the relative privilege of being a white Australian woman.
But it’s also possible to view Azalea’s behavior as fundamentally the same as how other musicians approach music making and remixing—sound migration. Musicians use different sounds in different settings to fit audience expectations, and those expectations transcend the limitations of geography, time, and genre. Is the true measure authentic identity in hip-hop—or any of these genres—not to convey one’s lived reality, but simply to entertain?
The more abstract or broad the definition of “remix” becomes, and the more we are aware of how sounds “migrate” from one place/time/genre to another, 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” and 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.
“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.
55 thoughts on “Sound migration (online discussion Apr 6-12)”
watching the video orchestra hits was very familiar me because ive heard that sound effects a lot in 80s and 90s music. This shows how far music has traveled. how many of you guys were familiar with those sounds ?
LikeLiked by 1 person
I recognized alot of the songs too! My mom plays them alot now especially since we’re stuck in the house. I cant believe those songs originated from an orchestra hit. It truly shows how creative people can really be.
I know the reading was only 15 minutes, but with all the videos it was a lot of information to take in.
It is really interesting to see how original pieces were manipulated through the years I wonder if it was because that is what they heard growing up, then thought I can mix it up or do it better. I am always surprised when hearing a new song, to then find out that the song was a remix from a oldie. I certainly haven’t heard every song out there, so it is feasible that many songs have been remixed to make it a newer version. Call me a purist, but I like what is original. There is that word “original”. If we take that what was implied from Dr. J’s last paragraph. If we are discussing place, time and genre, is anything truly original?
I’ve listened to lots of different kinds of music and also thought about how many of the songs I listen to have some similarities to other songs that I have listened to in the past. Whenever I listen to a new song, I almost always think about songs that sound similar or have similar parts to songs that I heard of in the past. After reading through all of this, I realized that the definition of original in music is different to the definition of original in general.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I never notice that modern music today would take so much interaction from music back then and how similar they sound like said from the Bruno Mars part that had music from the 80s and 90s another song that had the feel to me was The Weekend: Blinding Lights to Paul Engemann: Push it to the Limit both songs had very similar music tones and being almost 30 years about like when I first heard The Weekends so I thought to myself that I heard a song like this before and after hearing paul Engemann song blew my mind on how similar the song is. Have you guys had that experience when you heard a song that similar to a different song?
LikeLiked by 2 people
Hi Davidn117, I also never noticed that modern music would take so much interaction from music back then. I think it’s somewhat interesting but it also makes you question the originality of today’s music.
I agree. This is how we know and understand that music has been around for generations
LikeLiked by 1 person
Musicians are artists, and I think a lot of musicians are inspired by other musicians from the past. I think it’s really neat that music sometimes sounds similar – they’re not copying directly, but borrowing certain phrases that sound good to them, that they think their audience would enjoy (paraphrasing music in some way).
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hey Cardi! I definitely agree with you, music artist definitely get their inspiration from other musicians, which as a result is displayed in that music artist’s piece of music.
Hey Cardi I 100% agree with you on how other musicians are inspired and get ideas from musicians from the past which I love
Hey Cardi, I agree with you artists wants something to go off and help them write a song for them self.
Sound Migration is a really interesting topic. I find it quite fascinating that musicians we currently listen to like Bruno Mars, etc are using sounds or beats from the 80s/90s. I personally love remixes however, I do think it is important to not forget the ‘origins’ of these music. What are your thoughts on composers that completely change or remix someone else’s song ?
LikeLiked by 1 person
. I think that they have an inspiration for that song to make it their own artics today will always have inspiration from artists from the past having us to remember pass songs.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hey Cassie, that’s a great question! Personally I see nothing wrong with it. At the end of the day music is music, and if an musician or Artist decide that they want to remix a song originally done by someone else they have all the rights to do so. As long as they are not using the whole sound of the original song and not crediting the original artist for the beat they are using. That is like plagiarizing except for music. What I don’t like is when the remix of a song becomes more known and popular than the original song. I just feel like at least the Creator of the original song should get recognition and credit, for their song. Anyways, those are just my opinions though
LikeLiked by 2 people
I think its good that composers remix somone else’s song becues it brings the song to the cuurent era. At the end of the day you still have to give credit where credit is due especially if you are using another person’s idea. Also to avoid getting into legal troubles the composer should consult the creator of the original song before creating the remix.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hey Cassie I love this comment when you said bruno mars uses beats from the 80s that is totally true and I didn’t even notice it. I love remixes but I don’t want them to totally change it up from the original song.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I feel like composers who change or remix someone else’s song show a certain level of creativity. I find it very impressive to be able to take a song and put your own spin on it. Furthermore, i like the idea of remixes because it shows how people influence each other. A composer remixing a song means that they felt inspired or impressed by the song. So the originator of the song can see a composer’s remix as a sort of appreciative gesture.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I knew Bruno Mars used some parts of music from the 80s and 90s and mix it with popular music now days. However, I did not know the huge influence that old music have in today’s music. By watching the videos and reading this week’s discussion is clear how there nothing 100% original… and there is nothing wrong with it, just means that everything is a reaccion of something from the past.
Most of the music that I listen to now is a remix from old songs and they are pretty good so I think is cool how versatile and dinamic music can be.
Do you guys prefer remix or the original version of some songs?
it depends for me because they can both sound really good cause me to like them both
I think it’s interesting finding sounds sampled from other pieces or used in inspiration for another. As long as someone does something new with the music they are using I’m fine with it personally.
Sometimes it sounds manufactured which you can see with like pop music but it’s up to the artist to make the sound have life in it. Not sure if what I said made sense but what does everyone think of that?
I agree with that. I think what people mean by original is that it’s okay to take inspiration from someones song or culture AS LONG as they make it their own.
Sound migration is a very interesting topic because it is cool to see a piece f music that is taken from other pieces of music and put together into one song.
I know a lot of the inspiration of the music that I listen to today comes from previous music and style and I find it so interesting when an artist uses the same beat as another artists popular song or something in that nature. It amazes me how music can be so different and music in previous generations but so similar in other ways.
@andyspad11 I definitely agree with you. It was really interesting for me to hear songs from the past and then songs that have come out over the past years that were inspired by those past. However and although I do enjoy the songs, do you find the creator to be authentic, when they have used someone else’s work as the backbone for their own?
LikeLiked by 1 person
I didn’t know how much the past influenced today’s music, with the videos shown I can see how each resembles each other. Also it’s so crazy how technology involved and how musicians first used a fairlight CMI to create music and now we can do all this stuff in the palm of our hands.
What other technology do you think might be created in the future? What was something that you learned and weren’t aware about?
I think it is natural for modern music to be influenced by older music. Many of the artist get inspired by what they listened to when they were younger. I feel like artists are always inspiring each other, which is why there are so many songs that sound like each other; sometimes they genuinely are just trying to copy others but mostly it is because they’re inspired and don’t even notice it. People learn from people in many many different cases and music is just one of those cases. Music is just going to keep changing and I’m sure that modern music is going to be inspiring whatever is to come, too.
Good evening everyone, I saw a lot of very interesting ideas posted and they all make sense. This is my view on the whole subject; I think That music has changed a lot over the years and has also dipped into the past quite often. I guess the saying “history repeats itself” would be quite literal especially if you put one of Bruno Mars’ songs on repeat. I find it very interesting because we don’t move on, we move forward and carry a bit of the past with us. I think its embracing and hopefully the future generations can do the same. Does anyone think that music should be about the now and leave the past behind?
Indeed music has changed a lot over the years, and with a little bit spice from the past it pleasing for us to remember the origin it was once from or so say our childhood hits.
LikeLiked by 1 person
We should still recognize music from the past in the future. I’m sure there has been things people don’t even notice they do that is similar to music of the past
Hi everyone! Hope everyone is well. I found this reading really interesting. Of course artists are going to get inspiration from other artists’ work but it was interesting to have James Baldwin’s ideology that we are “unconsciously controlled” by history thrown in at the very end, tying everything together. It made me question, although a singer/songwriter is taking someone else’s work, remixing and adding their own spin, creating a new and “original” song, is it really original or authentic? If someone uses another persons work as the foundation for their own, can their work really be recognized as bona fide?
LikeLiked by 1 person
Inspiration. You inspire me, I inspire you. From music to film, to fashion to art, to even modern time technology. One’s good inspiration will ring charms to more creative ideas, but may a recreation be considered as there own work? As introduced musicians would borrow and adopt instruments and sounds from a different individual, taking a melody and dressing it up in new musical clothes, giving it a richer experience. Considering music of course, and vintage clothing that was popular in the 80s, like jean jackets and mom jeans. Human adores bringing the past to present, spicing entertainments now without forgetting the origin of where they were from.
I thought the music Dr. Jones recorded was quite interesting. Remixes may not have been called remixes in the past, but they certainly existed for as long as music has existed.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I enjoyed listening to all the remixes or samples that were altered into something new. It obviously inspires people to create something new. Im really happy when I hear that there is a remix of a song that I enjoy. Dont you agree? As the generations change you hear a difference in the way they presented music but they still carried on a piece of history with them.
Happy Easter ! everyone has listened to different kinds of music. We all at least try to make comparisons to songs we have listened to. I know I’m not the only one. After reading all of this, Sound Migration is a really interesting and broad topic.I didn’t know beats from back in the old days were still being used today which makes it also interesting. But after reading i don’t really prefer remixes for songs but this just shows how reciprocal and versatile music can be. Do you guys prefer the original music when you guys listen to music or the remix version ?
Hey Jamilahe , I would have to say that i like both the original music and the remix because they can make it in a different way. it was really interesting to read too.
It depends. I can like both the original or remix versions of a song depending on if the person making the remix does something new to make it their own instead of just copying it beat for beat
Hey everyone! I hope everyone is staying safe at this time. I found this discussion to be quite interesting, I totally agree with how today’s pop music, have been inspired by other musical eras such as the 80s and 90s! As was mentioned in the discussion,even the 80s and 90s eras were inspired by other musical eras before they came along. One song that comes to mind from the 90s era,is Set Adrift on Memory Bliss by P.M Dawn, which came out in 1991.This was a remix of the song True by Spandau Ballet which came out in 1983. So it’s definitely something that’s reoccurred a lot through history! I feel like even sometimes the musical artist, who are inspired by other musical artist, start sounding like that artist because they love their work, and have been inspired by it. Have you guys ever found that to be the case?
Good day everyone! Glad to see everyone is still here despite the hectic circumstances. Anyways I wanted to talk about something that most comments do not discuss which is the expectations we often hold on music. Dr Jones mentioned this in the section Part II: Modern implications, and I even want to add my own spin to it. We not only hold music to expectations of being perfect, however often we tie Artist to musical expectations as well. What I mean is when an Artist is known for making a certain Genre of music, and if they happen to try something new or switch up their style, their fans become unimpressed. They criticize the artist saying they are “unoriginal” and “lacking ideas” and becoming “whack”. These musical expectations to have perfect music, with good quality tracks and concerts ext can be life draining. Especially if the musician is put in a box on what kind of music they can play.
LikeLiked by 1 person
or even produce as well!
My question for you guys is what would you do as an influential Artist who is known for a certain genre (such as rock, or Hip-hop). Let’s say you wanted to produce a song with a Classical musician, however you don’t known how your fans would react to it, would the love it or hate it? Would you care for the reaction of your fans more than expanding your genre of music, or would you say no because your fans opinion is more important ?
LikeLiked by 1 person
If I were to do that I’d take the advice of the Classical musician into consideration and find a good balance and compromise between our music styles so that both of our fan bases would be happy.
I always get confused with remixes and samples, I find it intresting to see how many people get insired from music drom the past. When I watched the video on the orchestra hit I came to realize how many songs I have heard with that sound in them. I have heard a song recently by Lil Uzi called (That Way) https://youtu.be/PR-duMh19FY in this song he samples or remixes a song by The Backstreet Boys called (I Want It That Way) https://youtu.be/4fndeDfaWCg here are the links to both songs. When remixing a song artists should try their best to the remix better or on pat with the original. Whatever happens the artist must avoid making the remix worse. What is the difference between a sample and a remix? How long do you think people have been making remixes?
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hey everyone happy easter this topic is very interesting its fascinating on how musicians these days use past beats like someone said Bruno Mars is a perfect example. I personally have a love/hate relationship with remixes some of them are great but then on the other hand some dismiss the whole original song. How does everyone else feel about remixes?
It’s crazy how because of how far technology has advanced, the idea of perfectionism has really engulfed popular music as a whole. The process of recording a music, burning it onto CDs, and then distributing them to record stores would take weeks, however, that whole process has been streamlined thanks to online streaming. As a result, if there was a mistake on a song, it couldn’t be redacted because the marketing timeline had begun, but since digital release of music had started, a mistake in a song could easily be fixed, called patching, through the streaming platform. Artists could use this to fix any mistakes, such as when the final verse on the song “Yosemite” by Travis Scott had been patched because the volume was too low on the first release, or it could be used to completely alter a song with seemingly no mistakes just because the artist wanted it to. In other instances, an artist could simply remove their music off of streaming platforms altogether, essentially taking the music back from the consumer unless it has been saved or downloaded by other means. Do you guys think song patching and take-downs of music altogether take away from consumer ownership of the music as opposed to buying physical CDs?
LikeLiked by 2 people
hey guys , I really find this discussion interesting because i see that artist now look upon other composers like the old ones to help them write a music themselves. you can see the different in how the music in the discussion changes to. What do you guys think ? Do you like the remix music better?
Hi KayyjewelMe! Me personally I like remixes, sometimes they sound better than the original song. I guess remixes are like a second chance in my opinion.
This topic is all to familiar to me, I feel that sound migration should be looked on in a positive way as I see it as a musician paying homage or celebrating former musicians.
“One 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!” I can say that remixes are even created by artists themselves as they feel as though they didn’t put to much in the first time. I though do not believe that pop music is way more creative because classical music may be called boring but it takes lots of dedication to me in my eyes to even be a classical musician.
Watching the Orchestra Hits video really gave me a surprise. I never knew that artists like Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and many other artists from the 80s would sample parts of an orchestra in their music. This really acts like an enlightenment for me because I would most likely be doing some of that in my future. I personally love those epic orchestral music that you can find on Youtube, and I’ve thought about making some music with that epic orchestral theme. There’s so much for me to learn. Also, my opinion about remixes mentioned in this discussion has both a positive and negative side. It is true that remixes can let the composers show off their knowledge of music theory, making the original piece sound better. However, that may change the taste, or originally feel, of the original music. It can be good. It can be bad. The bad side would be that there’s too much change, which would make the remix sound worse than the original. It’s like adding too much salt into a dish, making it inedible. That would put the original piece of music to shame.
LikeLiked by 1 person
in my opinion music has evolved only with the voice, for example, artist now a days make their voice sound any type of way. they either make thicker or thiner but sound wise, musicians will always get that from the past as we saw with bruno mars and his sounds. do you guys like music from the past or nowadays???
I like modern music a lot, but honestly classical music is a nice break for me. Most of the songs today sound the same and are dry, there are a lot of songs that I love from todays time, for example “right back by Khalid”.
Music is something that is able to migrate all over the world. That’s the reason why we have Brooklyn rappers like Fivio Foreign and Pop Smoke rapping over U.K drill beats.It’s the same reason Canadian rapper Drake was singing in spanish on one song and then rapping with a London accent on another. We’re all influenced by the many sounds around us. I don’t feel like that’s wrong or appropriation. Artist being able to adopt new sounds just shows you how versatile they can be.
This was a very long interesting discussion. So much to take in, I found myself going back to read 1-2 times because it was just a lot to process. I think remixes are a good thing, because using the same mix with another voice with different rhythm spices it up and make the audience like it more than the original song. Personally I think that music always has to change according to generations and that’s what remixes are for. But some artist biggest problem in today society is that artists are more focused on reciprocating the format and composition of other popular songs before their time and they know in their head that their fans will like it. But then again, music comes from inspiration. Do you guys think that if remixes didn’t exist, would artist in this generation be able to make their own rhythm? Instead of copying from famous artist from the 70’s-90’s?
After reading all of this, it’s safe to say that it’s beneficial when music is able to migrate. So my question would have to be, how will the music industry be affected as a result of social distancing?
LikeLiked by 1 person
Seeing how the music of modern times has evolved from baroque era music is an amazing thing to see through history, but in my opinion some of the artist today make their songs too complex. They try everything they can to make their songs pop out, which in a way i believe is needed in a tough industry. Musicians that use orchestras in their songs, i believe are brilliant, because the amount of instruments that are used brings goosebumps to many. To bring my statement to a close, in my mind, if a singer from modern times decided to add some classical stuff into their songs it would boost the potential for that song.
Comments are closed.