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What Is A Mash-Up?

Updated on May 25, 2013
AN early tape recorder - I used one of these in 1974 to make my first mix tap.
AN early tape recorder - I used one of these in 1974 to make my first mix tap.

Mix Tapes - The Forerunner of Mash-Ups

In my teens, I sat for hours in my box bedroom, picking out my favourite tracks from my now extensive record collection (14 singles, 4 albums) and I made tapes of all my favourites with no breaks in between.

This became known as a 'mix tape'.

Eventually, I bought a drum machine at a second hand shop and I used that in tandem with the tape recorder and segued the songs together with a drum beat. I used two tape recorders together but everything was pretty scratchy and amateur.

In time, I bought Cakewalk Home Studio software and was able to write and record my own music but I missed the 14 year old me and her enthusiasm for bringing all the good stuff together.

The sheer 'getting in there' with music.

Learning what went together well is something in all of us who love music and the Mash Up is the natural, technology inspired version of that enthusiasm.

Buchanan and Goodman - The Flying Saucer

The First Mash-Up?

This is widely to considered to be the 1956 song 'The Flying Saucer' by Bill Buchanan and Dickie Goodman.

But it is very primitive - indeed my early 1970s versions weren't so far off this effort.

Stars on 45 had quite a lot of hits using this idea in the late 70s and early 80s.

Jive Bunny created a similar idea in the 1980s too.

Jive Bunny

2 -Song Mash-Ups

There have been a few novelty songs over the years which have successfully fused two hit songs to create a new one.

Delerium (& Sarah MacLachlan-sampled) had a hit in the UK in 2009 with 'Silence'.

In recent years, there have been a few top bands featured in mash-ups, U2, Coldplay to name but two. You Tube has hundreds more.

Mash-Ups Go Global.....

In 2009, this video appeared on You Tube. It is a 'mega' mash-up by DJ Earworm.

So far on You Tube, it has had over 39 million views - it is VERY good and VERY popular!

The TV series Glee has taken Mash-Ups to a new theatrical place, where you get to the see the artistes perform the chosen songs with an accompanying dance routine.

I know it's not everybody's cup of tea, but it has brought the skill of the mash up to more people so that can only be a good thing.

Mix Tape To Mash Up

So since 1952, using whatever 'technology' was avaliable at the time, men and women (and eleven year old girls) have been manipulating music to create something novel which they can share with other people,

We've come a long way since 'The Flying Saucer' and You Tube and sites like GoodBlimey have given us a visual and sound experience on our computers, laptops and mobile devices so we can enjoy innovation of this sort wherever we happen to be in the world.

Christmas Mash-Up

Seasonal Mash-Up

It started a few years ago with Jive Bunny but technology has taken that further.

I hope you enjoy this take on the Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Song.

Go visit You Tube and type in 'mash up', there's some phenomenal stuff out there; some of it by stars, some of it by world-famous DJs, some of it created by kids - in their bedrooms - what goes around comes around!


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    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      Alicia, many thanks for dropping by! The older ones probably sound a bit daft now when you hear some of the astounding stuff being created by today's DJs.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Glee seems to have brought mash-ups to the masses. I enjoy listening to them now because it seems like a creative new way of hearing your favorite songs. This was an interesting and enjoyable hub!

    • JeniferRW profile image

      Jen 6 years ago from Couch

      Awesome thank you! I will definitely try the free stuff first. I have a crappy program on my computer that I use to record my songs but the quality is just very VERY low grade. I can't seem to get it to the level I want it for sound and clearness. It just doesn't add up. Thanks again, I'm pretty much going to head over and get VirtualDJ right now.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 6 years ago from North-East UK

      Thanks for your vote up! I bought Home Studio for about £150 but you can get Sonar by Cakewalk which is better. If you want to have a go at this kind of thing for free - you can get VirtualDJ as a free download for PC and Mac. Another free programme, Audacity, is also very good but you need to practice for a while!

    • JeniferRW profile image

      Jen 6 years ago from Couch

      Great hub! I never knew half of this stuff, I'm a fan of mash ups when the songs really work well together. I am a huge fan of glee! I never miss an episode of it. How much did you have to pay for the Cakewalk Home Studio you mentioned by the way?

      Awesome hub, voted up/useful/awesome/interesting!