Sample-based Music

Display Schedule

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
101MSBM Z 2 BLOK English winter and summer

Subject guarantor

Michal RATAJ

Name of lecturer(s)

Michal RATAJ

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Sample-based Music

prof. Leigh Landy (DMU University, Leicester, UK)

where: Divadlo inspirace

when: Thursday 25. 10., 10 – 14 (lecture)

Friday 26. 10., 9 – 16 (workshop)

Mode of study


Prerequisites and co-requisites

open to ALL students

Course contents

This talk and workshop will focus on making music with samples whether involving existent musical material or any sound. The theoretical session will start by surveying the field of sampling and then discuss some interesting differences between the more commercial music-oriented history of sampling and the various innovative developments made outside of that sector as well as examples that cross over, such as John Oswald’s ‘Plunderphonics’. The talk will also look at a number of aspects related to sampling culture that are unusual such as the relative anonymity of its artists to the subjects of appropriation and of legal issues. Sampling is a peculiar area of musical innovation for, unusually, in some ways developments within more popular forms of sample-based music have shown the way for more experimental musicians. Often it works the other way around. An example of this is how musicians with roots in popular music collaborate within sampling culture/remix. Many working within more innovative circles still adhere to the composer as the ‘owner’ of a work, something that is slightly contradictory given the nature of the use of samples. The talk, therefore, will cover a wide range of issues related to sampling and sonic exploration. The speaker will investigate some of his own works to illustrate many of the issues raised.

The workshops will pick up where the talk leaves off and will focus on how to make sample-based music. Subjects will include decisions regarding how to find and collect/record samples; how to approach composing with these materials; compositional and manipulation techniques; and so on. Participants should bring in their own laptops and a means for capturing sounds, e.g., a mobile phone. If they already have relevant software, that is fine. The software made for beginners called Compose with Sounds will be on offer to all participants. This software provides means to upload sounds with corresponding images for instant recognition, sequencing them and manipulating them in order to create interesting sample-based music. Note: at the moment of writing, this software only works on a Macintosh platform but it is expected that the Windows version will be ready by October.

Recommended or required reading

Leigh Landy (born 1951) is a composer and musicologist of Dutch and American citizenship. He holds a Research Chair at De Montfort University where he directs the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre.

Landy's compositions include several works for video, dance and theatre. He has worked extensively with the late playwright, Heiner Müller, the new media artist, Michel Jaffrennou and the composer-performer, Jos Zwaanenburg. He was composer in residence for the Dutch National Theatre during its first years of existence and is currently co-director of Idée Fixe – Experimental Sound and Movement Theatre with the choreographer, Evelyn Jamieson. A complete list of his compositions, recordings, publications and other creative endeavours can be found on his personal website

Assessment methods and criteria

credits: 2


prepared by Composition dep. HAMU and New Media Studies FF UK.

contact: Michal Rataj,

Further information

Course may be repeated

This course is an elective for all AMU students

Schedule for winter semester 2019/2020:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

Schedule for summer semester 2019/2020:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans