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Cut 'N' Mix: Culture, Identity, and Caribbean Music (1987) - Dick Hebdige
Related: 1987 - Dick Hebdige - Cultural Studies - cut - mix - cover versions - Caribbean music Jamaican music black music
There is no better book to start with to research "black music".
Cut 'N' Mix: Culture, Identity, and Caribbean Music (1987) - Dick Hebdige [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Consider the rapid growth of both recorded and performed music based on digital sampling, cutting and mixing. Many hip-hop musicians have dissected existing recorded music, sampling it, quoting it, and transforming it into their own recordings – recordings that are in turn the basis for other participants to subsequently sample, dissect, and construct new meanings. In turn, the “performance” of recorded music that is the domain of “DJ culture” is predicated upon the “live” dissection, manipulation and re-assembly of previously (and usually commercially) recorded music, weaving it into new creative texts.
Dick Hebdige spoke of the implications of this move in his 1987 book Cut 'n' Mix: "In order to e-voke you have to be able to in-voke. And every time the other voice is borrowed in this way, it is turned away slightly from what it was the original author or singer or musician thought they were saying, singing, playing ... It's a democratic principle because it implies that no one has the final say. Everybody has a chance to make a contribution. And no one's version is treated as Holy Writ."
Much as with the production of folkloric narratives over the past centuries, there are neither fixed texts nor fixed meanings, but rather a loose assemblage of elements that are re-worked by different individuals for their own purposes, yet still shared by others in the community.
Digital technologies have both enabled new forms of production (sampling in particular) and new forms of distribution, bypassing the traditional bottle-necks of centralized, hierarchized culture – such as retail merchandising and radio broadcasting -- and enabling musical expressions to be shared within an organically-defined community of fans and available to anyone with an internet connection.
Hebdige characterizes the consequences of this de-hierarchization of creative and interpretive authority in terms of “democratic principle” – a broadly political pronouncement to which I will return later in this paper. --William Uricchio
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