Sampling Genealogies of Sound

  • Sophia MaalsenEmail author


This chapter introduces the reader to sample-based music. It begins with an overview of the development of sample-based music and positions this within the context of traditions of musical borrowing more generally. The development of copyright in music is also discussed, starting from its beginnings in the Enlightenment and continuing to its more recent extension beyond music in notated form to music as recorded artefact.

The chapter draws upon my ethnographic work with two producers to understand the process of making beats as well as to illustrate how multibiographical relationships are formed between the music and producers.

The chapter concludes that although both legal frameworks and subcultural ethics at various times act to constrain the movements of some sounds, there exist counter-movements to redeploy such sounds. Thus these negotiations and subversions result in a continual process of deterritorialisation, reterritorialisation, and deterritorialisation again. As the sound moves through this trajectory, it has the potential to accumulate and distribute personhoods, becoming multibiographical sound in the process.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Architecture, Design and PlanningUniversity of SydneyCamperdownAustralia

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