Text and Mashups

“’Text’, from a root meaning ‘to weave’, is, in absolute terms, more compatible etymologically with oral utterance than is ‘literature’, which refers to letters entymologically/(literae) of the alphabet. Oral discourse has commonly been thought of even in oral milieus as weaving or stitching—rhapsodien, to rhapsodize, basically means in Greek ‘to stitch songs together’. But in fact, when literates today use the term ‘text’ to refer to oral performances, they are thinking of it by analogy with writing (Ong, 1988, p13)

This quote makes me think of what may become one modern day definition of text: mashups. While called by different names in the past, mashups are simply the weaving together of different media to make a new creation. This has been common in music throughout the ages and called “arrangements.” For example, check out Jack Gibbons arrangement of George Gershwin hits:[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fh9ghHKHcmw [/youtube]

Today mashups have become more than just arrangements. They create something completely new from previously crafted arts. For example, the CBC’s Paolo Pietrapaolo’s Signature Series takes the popular songs in a certain key to create and describe characters. Essentially he “writes” about the character using a blend of music and oral storytelling. If D Minor was a person who would she be? Go ahead and find out: D Minor- The Ice Queen


Ong, W.J. (1988). Orality and Literacy. New York, NY: Routledge.
Pietrapaolo, P. (2012, Sept 5). D minor: The ice queen. Podcast retrieved from http://music.cbc.ca/#/The-Signature-Series/blogs/2012/9/The-Signature-Series-on-CBC-Music
madloveba3. (2011, July 30). Gershwin-Rhapsody in blue genius solo piano arrangement by jack gibbons. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fh9ghHKHcmw

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2 Responses to Text and Mashups

  1. joypenner says:

    Loved the Dm piece. I learned something new from you today. Thanks.

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