Mashed (AMS179)

Even as we encounter different pop works, we’ll be talking about popular music throughout the semester. A friend sent this link to me and I thought it might be worth considering. As a musical genre, the mashup evinces a clear connection to the sample, though formally it’s much more radical– strictly speaking neither bricolage (a composite text built from whatever’s at hand) nor montage (a jumble of heterogeneous parts). If the sample lifts a break to use as an aural leitmotif– an organizing sound, riff, etc., a hook of sorts– then the mashup takes a much bigger bite out the original works and attempts to graft them. Also, it could be productive to reflect on Billboard’s choices for 2009 in terms of form and content: what do these tracks share in common? At a thematic level most if not all of the songs seem to tell listeners to ignore present concerns in order to enjoy the moment, a kind of disco worldview: “just dance.” Or am I reading that wrong?

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