What is remixing?
A remix is an new work made from existing musical material that is edited or altered in some way.
Remixing has been around for centuries: composers have always “borrowed” ideas from one another to
make new musical pieces.
The art of remixing as we know it today involves taking all or part of a recorded work and using it to
create something new. Remixing extends to other art forms too: film, images, artwork and literature can
all be remixed to create something new.
Take a look at the History of Remixing website (pictured below) for examples that date back to the
Classical Era and beyond: http://www.historyofremixing.webs.com
Who makes a remix and why?
Remixes are usually created by DJs and/or music producers. There are many reasons for remixing, some
of which are:
• to create a new song for artistic purposes
• to create a dance mix for clubs
• to make a song conform to a speci!c musical genre
• to create new versions of “back catalogue” items
How remixes are made
The DJ or music producer sources the original recording of a song - preferably all the separate recorded
tracks (known as stems) - so that they can chop them up, add a new drum beat, change the tempo or add
Sometimes the DJ or music producer will create their own samples from a recording (a little snippet of
sound) which might become the basis of a new melody or rhythm.
Almost any musical element of a song can be changed in a remix:
• drum beat
• style or “feel”
• the vocal line can be “chopped up” into snippets
• song structure
There are thousands of examples available! Good places to look:
• Youtube: search for a song name with the word “remix” after it
• On Youtube, take a look at the work of Pogo who has remixed sounds from many of the Disney and
Pixar movies. He samples spoken lines, music and sound effects and puts them together to create
a completely new song
• DJ Kutiman: also on Youtube, search for “The Mother of All Funk Chords”. DJ Kutiman found a series
of unrelated music videos on Youtube and put them together to create a new piece
• iTunes: search for a song and check all of the results. Chances are that someone has created a new
The Seven Basic Plots - Every book/movie is a remix.
• Overcoming the Monster.
• Rags to Riches
• The Quest
• Voyage and Return
And HERE is the assignment!
(Far) Below you will find a listing of dance artists who have "borrowed" music from earlier artists.
If you have other songs in mind, you are free to use them.
Check out this site for more ideas.
The "whosampled" page has a fun game that will connect any two songs in fewer than six steps.
- Take some time to look over the artists and songs (below).
- Find a song you would like to dig into. (try a few, pick one)
- What Song(s) did you choose?
- What year was the original released? (have an example cued up one YouTube or other)
- Who was the original artist?￼
- Who did the remix of your song?
- What year was the remix released? (have an example cued up on YouTube or other)
- In what ways did the Remix Artist use/change the original? or How did the remix artist incorporate the original?
Before presenting your findings, Drop a Google Doc into Classroom with your outline of #'s 2-8 (above).