Scratch and mix: sampling the human voice in the metaphorical phonograph

Miriama Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper elucidates the practice by which composers and DJs use the turntable to ‘scratch and mix’ samples of recorded female voices, thereby reframing them into new contextual forms. The paper focuses on two pieces: ‘Got ‘Til It's Gone’, a pop song by Janet Jackson and Q-Tip which samples and manipulates a fragment of Joni Mitchell's ‘Big Yellow Taxi’; and Christian Marclay's turntable scratching on the voice of the late Maria Callas. The discussion is interpolated with a reading of Jean-Paul Sartre's novel La Nausée, for his literary embodiment of the recorded voice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337–345
Number of pages9
JournalContemporary Music Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

Bibliographical note

Issue Editors: Dr Lisa Colton and Dr Martin Iddon


  • voice
  • technology
  • Marclay
  • Callas
  • electronic
  • Sartre
  • Editor's Choice


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