Video: How to subtly transform a classic song by changing the scale

posted at 9:01 pm on January 24, 2013 by Allahpundit

To cleanse the palate, if this isn’t the next big thing in sampling, it should be. Instead of lifting a riff from a classic track to put in a new song, the mastermind behind this tweaked the classic until it is the new song by changing the scale from minor to major. The first time you listen to it, it’ll sound flat and jarring, which is understandable: Your mental template of how this song goes, burned in after a thousand radio listens over the last 20 years, will resist. So listen to it twice if you can spare the time, and maybe a few times more than that. I started off “meh” and, after maybe the fourth play, decided it was fantastic. The change in emotional tone from the shift in scale is subtle but unmistakable. And the mandolin, which always sounded tinny and too precious in the original, really pops in this one. I never much liked “Losing My Religion” but I like this. A lot.

The comments at Boing Boing are fascinating too. A few people dig it, most hate it — mental templates are stubborn things — and a few seem to have had a physical reaction to it. I’m expecting the same here. Don’t let me down.

Major Scaled #2 : REM – “Recovering My Religion” from major scaled on Vimeo.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Screw you Michael Stipe. So glad that I found my religon and lost my appreciation for your leftist propaganda. I sold my guitars and bought guns with the cash. I want to see the entertainment industrial complex implode upon itself, starting with pop music.

Buck Turgidson on January 25, 2013 at 7:30 AM

General, I still have my guitars and my guns. My three favorite things are the “three G’s”…guns, guitars and girls and not in any particular order. But I agree about tuning out the leftist political crap that a lot of bands I’d otherwise like spew. Springsteen, Mellencamp and many others can kiss my ass. When they come on the radio, the channel gets changed immediately. Keep your politics to yourselves ass hats and entertain me…

Big John on January 25, 2013 at 9:00 AM

I say “Pretty Cool”.
Never much liked REM.
I liked this better.

Haiku Guy on January 25, 2013 at 9:06 AM

One thing is the same: Stipe dances like a spastic rat on crack.

Solly on January 25, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Sherman1864 on January 24, 2013 at 10:19 PM
Bmore on January 24, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Here’s your bottle!

Sherman1864 on January 25, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Well, this is probably going to end up with musicians constantly remastering their songs in new scales… It’ll be like Hollywood re-re-releasing the same movie…

I like this. But I get the feeling that there’s going to be a lot of bad stuff as well. It’s like Mashups, which have been hit or miss for a few years.

I would be interested in seeing them perform this song live in this version though…

Washington Fancy on January 25, 2013 at 10:13 AM

I guess it is easier on the ears.
Both versions still stink. Everything they put out after Reckoning did, IMO.

shades of red on January 25, 2013 at 10:15 AM

That’s me in the corner, that’s me eating chocolate and losing my complexion.

Pcoop on January 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

I always thought ‘losing religion’ referred more to the protagonists temper, than actual ‘faith.’

Oh, well.

locomotivebreath1901 on January 25, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Still meh. Can’t get past the video short attention span BS. My 2 cents.

dissent555 on January 25, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Speed and depth.

The faster and more percussive parts of the original were the best, I think.

However, if I were to rewrite this, it would have new scale and have an ingredient from Mozart’s Requiem.

IlikedAUH2O on January 25, 2013 at 1:47 PM

I acknowledge that this seems to change the mood of the song, but that’s because we’ve been programmed to believe minor=sad and major=happy. I will remind you that “Taps” is in a major key.

bmmg39 on January 25, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Allah – thanks from the Junior Logician and I for that bit of musical geekery. We both LOVED IT!


Lady Logician on January 25, 2013 at 6:30 PM

One thing is the same: Stipe dances like a spastic rat on crack.

Solly on January 25, 2013 at 9:26 AM

LOL That’s a good one.

RadClown on January 26, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Comment pages: 1 2