Music is lacking in integrity and originality (i.e. too much sampling and covering): an example essay

Essay by MicBindUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, April 2002

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Loss of Music

"The hills are alive with the sound of music." The hills are alive with the sound of covered, sampled, plagiarized, and redone music. Is there any originality in music anymore? In general, popular music and culture has become an imitation of an imitation. Almost everything found in music today is sampled music from yesterday, much uglier the second time around. "Sampling," is a major issue. Sampling is the extraction of portions of another artist's prior recordings or live performances and the reproduction of these pieces in other recordings of one's own. An artist may like the effect of a distinctive James Brown drum beat and wish to use two bars of this beat on a track of his or her own recording, but does it make it their own?

By no means is any of this a new phenomenon. Bands have been using others material since music has been alive and kickin'.

Songs such as "Blue Suede Shoes", "Yesterday", and "Twist and Shout" have been covered on more than numerous occasions. Speaking of "Blue Suede Shoes," even the "King" of rock and roll, Elvis Presley, used music from Carl Perkins, the song "Blue Suede Shoes." Besides Elvis, various other musical acts covered the song as well, including the Plastic Ono Band.

Vanilla Ice is one of the most notorious cases in sampling. He took the a small riff from the baseline of Queen and David Bowie's collaboration "Under Pressure" and tried to pass it off as his own, using it in a disastrous manner. The song "Ice, Ice Baby" is perhaps the best example of sampling gone wrong. MTV had Vanilla Ice on their top twenty notorious moments; his sampling incident ranked right up there with Milli Vanilli. Another example is Jay-Z's "Hard Knock Life," which the...