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

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.