The Creative Studio Practice of Contemporary Dance Music Sampling Composers


  • Justin Morey Leeds Metropolitan University
  • Phillip McIntyre University of Newcastle


Sampling, technology, creative practice, legal framework, social context.


This paper seeks to investigate some of the considerations that inform and help to determine the creative studio practice of contemporary sampling composers. Collaborative writing and production, specifically the co-opted collaboration implicit in using samples, will be assessed to consider those aspects of the production process which the participants consider to be authorial. These considerations include acts of listening, selecting and editing. In examining these matters this paper places emphasis on how sampling composers actively constrain their options in order to promote a creative relationship with their musical material. Techniques such as, firstly, traditional sample manipulation, secondly, the use of a sample as an initial building block for a composition from which the sample is then removed and, finally, live performance in the studio which is subsequently cut up and treated as a sample, will be discussed. Case studies, in the form of semi-structured interviews with sampling composers, will be drawn upon to assess approaches to and views about these forms of studio composition.

Author Biographies

Justin Morey, Leeds Metropolitan University

Senior Lecturer

Faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology

School of Film, Music and Performing Arts

Phillip McIntyre, University of Newcastle

Head of Discipline, Communication and Media