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Remixed, or mashed-up music is a contested issue both within musical communities and the law. The dispute arises when a musician creates a new piece of music by taking apart, re-arranging and sampling the work of another musician to create a new song. These remixed versions of songs are often unlicensed and have not been granted permission by the record label that produced the original tracks.

While instances of cultural phenomena have often influenced the development of new works of art throughout history, the digital technologies of the 21st century have enabled artists to directly cut and paste the works of others into their own art, creating controversy both within artistic communities and the legal realms.

Methodologically, this literature review will explore the historical context of music evolution, from the performance to the first recordings to the current mp3 format. In addition, it will reference the growing culture of remix music: the artistic practice of pastiching the works of others to create new songs. Finally, it seeks to uncover implications of music as intellectual property, as opposed to a new form of cultural democracy and literacy.

The research question that this literature review elucidates is whether or not a remixed song, or a mash-up, is an extension of a phenomenon of culture building, and what implications the digital nature of its production has on the notion of artistic creation and intellectual property rules.

Read the full literature review (PDF) on the topic of remix music culture.

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This work by Miné Salkin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.