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On The Subject Of Sampling In Music
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youthinasia888
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go George! In the end, it is what it is....
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FreshHorses
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to look at sampling as "quoting". all musicians get there licks from somewhere, there are only so many phrases that makes musical sense, and of course the can be combined in endless ways. but in the end you are a collection of the music you have heard. so is using a muddy waters lick any different then using a zeppelin break? why? The same way you mite use tremolo on a guitar to invoke surf music, you can use a bit of some 80's song to invoke that time period, and trigger peoples associations of that period. the truth is people love to hear reworkings of familiar things. most music is based around balancing the unfamilier and the familiar in interesting ways.

also, I challenge the idea that making sample based music is any "easier". There is loads of uninspired sample based music, and then some really ingenious stuff. same with non-sample based music. with both, it takes hard work to make something that will move people.
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georgeinar
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, unfortunately, this 'quoting' you refer to is illegal unless proper permission and/or payment is part of the deal, that's why when I'm doing nostalgic pieces that capture a certain genre or decade, I simply compose my own loops or licks that mimic but do not directly copy someone else's piece. I do really like to hear sampled music and spoken things in music however, as some of the earlier ministry stuff and I confess to enjoying at least some of the daft punk stuff which sounds sampled sometimes, but I'm sure they've done their homework and paid out what they have to to avoid lawsuits. I know on my Triton Studio there are some 'hit' sounds you can play that actually sound like a bite from a sampled record and I like that idea.
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Sam CA
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:48 am    Post subject: Re: On The Subject Of Sampling In Music Reply with quote

mikee72 wrote:
Like any "new" technology, the ability to digitally copy sound has been a double-edged sword. Most would agree that having the sound of a $20k grand piano or a 30-piece orchestra at their fingertips is a positive for songwriters. However, it seems to have become more common for people to sample an entire musical passage of another artist's work and incorporate it as one's own. I disagree with this, and feel that it is bad for music for several reasons.

First, the original work was created by someone else. Rights can be purchased, and permission can be given, but the fact remains that the sampling artist ends up getting the credit for writing it, since invariably, the sampled passage is the most distinguishing part of the final song.

Second, I believe that the more reliance that is put on sampling, the less true "songwriting" is actually going on. If we take this concept to the extreme, we would eventually get to the point where every new "song" is simply a DJ-like "mix" of previously-released material. At this point, no truly new music would be being created, and wouldn't that be a shame?

Lastly, the ability to sample entire musical passages lessens the desire for young people to take up an instrument, since the process of songwriting can new be streamlined. Yes, it's great that more people are now able to enjoy their involvement in music, but I've most certainly seen a decline in young people's desire to emulate their favorite guitar player or drummer. Instead, a desire to emulate their favorite "DJ" who can neither write his own music, nor play an instrument.

In conclusion, I see sampling as an effective music-making tool if used properly. If used abused, I see a downward spiral where no truly new music is ever created and every "new" song is a homologation of previous work.

Houses cannot be built without foundations, but in the distance, I'm seeing a city of skyscrapers being built on swampland.




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Using somebody else's work it's nothing new. This is been going on for centuries. If you study music history, you'll find out that this goes back to 10 or 11th century. It's the same thing, it's just has a new face, that's all.

For example, composer would take someone elses melody ( most of the time, a melody that was already popular at the time) , put that in the bass line, and compose a completely new piece on top of that. But still the main idea was there. You guys can also check out some old Cannons and stuff. Same thing would apply, just different little bit. This is not new at all, only now you have softwares, and internet and all that. It will never go away.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have to say I'm all for re-mixing and what-not.. I mean sure, you're always gunna have people that suck at it. But if you were to make a mosaic out other people's photographs or paintings or whatever, would you be "stealing" or being unoriginal?

I'd encourage you to take a look at this video, I found it fasinating...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SaFTm2bcac
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Traiken



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There have been some good points made so far, particularly in relating music to visual arts. My knee-jerk reaction to sampling entire passages is that it's a lazy, piggy-backing technique devoid of genuine creativity. However, I'm compelled to re-examine that reaction by thinking of it in terms of collage. In the early 20th century, it was a real avant garde thing to cut up magazines, newspapers and photographs and rearrange them into "new" pieces of art.

The difference, I think, is the intended effect. There's definitely a distinct effect you can get with a direct reference/sampling of something - like the difference between saying "Twinkie" and "mass-market cream-filled yellow sponge cake." However, if a musician isn't using a sample to reference or allude to a past work (the way composers of old would often do, as has been mentioned), then it reverts back to feeling very artless.

If a riff or hook is duplicated and used in the exact same way, then a song's weight is being supported by the strength of that kind of songwriting. "Ice Ice Baby" isn't the song that referenced "Under Pressure," it's the song that lifted it's bass line and pinned all of its shoddy songwriting on it. You hum that bass line, and depending on the cultural education of the person listening to you, they could tell you that was either song. Vanilla Ice (and it pains me to even type that name out, haha) had nothing remarkable enough to stick in your head, so he grabbed from not one, but two of the greatest acts in popular music.

One of those acts, by the way, has an excellent example of musical reference rather than sampling. David Bowie's "Young Americans" features the backup singers quoting The Beatles' "A Day in the Life." This is done by separate vocalists, certainly, but is much more in line of the potentially better artistic use of sampling as quoting. A single line, "I heard the news today, oh boy," is sung in the middle of a remarkable bridge. That's it. The song has its own chord progression, melody, et cetera. The strength of it is not predicated on the considerable talent of The Beatles - it stands on its own. That proves to the listener that a reference to the final track of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band wasn't necessary to the success of the song, it was just a nifty allusion.

That's the only avenue in which I could justify using a recognizable sample from a previous song. It can't be the keystone to your whole composition. If you were to remove the sample - if a band's lawyers came down on your and forcibly deleted that element - your song should still be able to stand on its own.
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georgeinar
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nicely put
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MarcusCarab
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are other sides to it too. Look at, say, Biggie -- most of the beats on Ready To Die fall on the arguably "lazy" side of the divide. But, that's not really what it was about. It was still new, creative and a huge contribution to the culture because a) nobody had really made beats like that, lazy though they may be and b) they were really all about providing a vehicle for the amazing lyrical skills. Plus, there's something interesting about that juxtaposition: repurposing the familiar licks and melodies of your life into a foundation on which to build something new and different.
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