Mashups is an emerging music genre that has created much debate in the music industry. The dictionary definition of a mashup is a song or composition created by blending two or more songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the music track of another.
Well, there are multiple reactions to this specific form of music, and two of the most extreme comments are, “ultimate post-modern pop song,” and “the logical extension of the sampling fever of the ’80s taken to its dumbest extreme.”
Well, one very interesting thing about mash-ups is, because of its low profitability, it has somewhat of a punk-rock attitude attached. Mash-ups are in some cases, hardly considered a form of music, and so, to fight against such extreme opinions, the movement began to incorporate such rebel-ish image to promote themselves as a new form of music that is being oppressed by the existing music genre, as were hip-hop, rock, and punk-rock.
However, I feel there is much need of discussion as to whether mash-ups can be called a legitimate form of music, regardless of its movement relating itself with previously oppressed forms of music. The key difference here is that mash-ups are not made with actual instruments, which has never been the case for any form of music before that.
Yet, mash-ups do take enough skills and knowledge to create as previous forms of music. Although you might not need specific knowledge as chords or harmonies or syncopations, etc, you need enormous amounts of music database and a talent to instinctively tell which ones will go well together. The fact that there have been many successful musicians who have managed to create famous songs without being able to read music scores support this view, since they both created a great sound with only their instincts and talent.
I’m not going to go ahead and make a clear argument about whether mash-ups are a legitimate form of music genre or not. However, I, as a rock/post-rock musician, cannot simply say that mash-ups are a legit form of music, since there is no original sound involved in the music. I mean, sure you can make a distinct sound by mixing a rap song with an indie/alternative rock backing, but those sounds themselves were created by a different musician, and just simply taking those and putting them together doesn’t necessarily make a new form of music.
Well, it’s up to you readers to decide. The general consensus will tell us in the end, whether mash-ups will remain as a distinct form of music or not, as it had for jazz, rock, hip-hop and many others. My personal for-cast of the outcome is that mash up will remain a form of music, but a rather unpopular one, since it definitely has a great deal of limitations in its originality.