The sound that connects Stravinsky to Bruno Mars

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  • Published on:  Tuesday, May 15, 2018
  • It’s an 1980s pop music cliche that dates back to 1910.Subscribe to our channel! you listen to the first few seconds of Bruno Mars’ “Finesse” (hint: listen to the Cardi B remix) you’ll hear a sound that immediately creates a sense of 80s hip-hop nostalgia. Yes, Cardi B’s flow is very Roxanne Shante, but the sound that drives that nostalgia home isn’t actually from the 1980s. Robert Fink and the inventor of the Fairlight CMI, Peter Vogel, help me tell the story of the orchestra hit - a sound that was first heard in 1910 at the Paris Opera where the famed 20th century Russian composer Stravinsky debuted his first hit, The Firebird. The video above is, in short, a history of the original orchestra hit sample from The Firebird Suite to the 1982 hit “Planet Rock” to “Finesse.” And as a treat, here’s a playlist of way more songs with orchestra hits than you probably wanted.  Playlist: CMI app: Peter Vogel CMI by Peter Vogel Instruments Pty Ltd Fink's paper: songs don't just stick in your head, they change the music world forever. Join Estelle Caswell on a musical journey to discover the stories behind your favorite songs.Check out the entire Vox Earworm playlist here: follow Vox Earworm on Facebook for more: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out our full video catalog: Vox on Facebook: Twitter:


  • Vox
    Vox  a years ago +667

    The '80s were a golden age of musical experimentation. Watch the Earworm episode on how a recording accident led to one of the decade's most iconic sounds:

  • Mark Hatlestad
    Mark Hatlestad  a years ago +457

    Fun fact: Stravinsky was born when Brahms was writing symphonies, and died after the Beetles broke up.
    Thanks for the excellent video!

  • Cris Blyth
    Cris Blyth  a years ago +374

    Last night I had some young musicians visiting my studio. I started by showing them this fantastic video - They were intrigued and had their eyes glued. When it got to the Fairlight part they were amazed that this machine existed way before they were born. As they watched, I started removing the dust covers of my equipment.. and the real moment was when I uncovered my CMI and drew their attention with an 'ahem...'. They freaked out.. it was a classic moment. THEN I showed them a floppy disk with the ORCH sample on it... it was indeed a priceless moment. Thank you so much for this great video.

    KAZUO  a years ago +780

    Lets not forget the most iconic song of them all, Crank Dat Soulja Boy

  • Lashan
    Lashan  a years ago +580

    So weirdly proud that an instrument made by an Australian literally defined the sound of the 80s. We've invented some good stuff hey?

  • la la lalisa
    la la lalisa  a years ago +902

    Earworm is my favorite show on Vox. This was amazing, thank you.

  • Stand Against the Cartels, End Drug Prohibition

    The story could have gone back further as Stravinski wasn't doing anything new with his Orchestra Hit. Earlier composers were using the technique to create high intensity. Verdi's Requiem Dies irae for one which was first performed in 1874. Someone with a thorough background in classical music would add a lot to this story.
    It's neat to hear that the guy who first sampled an Orchestra Hit described it as "a complete accident" and just happened to have that record nearby. Like a lot of history, a coincidence set it off from there. Everything's a remix.

  • Sophia Neilsson
    Sophia Neilsson  a years ago +281

    This makes my inner music student overwhelmingly happy

  • Nicolas Santos
    Nicolas Santos  8 months ago +58

    YO i was wondering where the first time i heard that orchestra hit, it was freaking jellyfish jam from spongebob

  • Alejo Villarroel
    Alejo Villarroel  4 months ago +21

    OMG the girl on 5:19 is Tatiana M. Ali who plays Ashley's character in the Fresh Prince of Bel Air

  • xWood4000
    xWood4000  a years ago +2604

    These music explanations are great.

  • xisumavoid
    xisumavoid  a years ago +257

    Ive also heard the orchestral hits referred to as a "stab" in music production, primarily when its not an actual orchestra but a loud sound with fast attack and short decay! Great video btw, fascinating! well presented :-)

  • Colby Crosby
    Colby Crosby  a years ago +16

    "I know someone who'd be really interested to see this..."
    Yeah so would Stevie...

    KAIZAR  1 months ago +10

    What you call, Orch2 is what I call the sound that you made when you do a special trick on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater.

  • Aspie In a Bowtie
    Aspie In a Bowtie  a years ago +48

    More 80s music tech to make a Earworm vid out of: the Yamaha DX-7 synth. That electric piano patch was used to death on every R&B, soft rock, and rock power Ballard in the 80s. Even the Doogie Howssr MD theme song was written with that patch.

  • Mali Rabbit
    Mali Rabbit  yesterday

    I have always loved this sound! I didn’t know that the heck it was. That it has a name! WOW!

  • Kawsaki
    Kawsaki  a years ago +15

    I’m so glad somebody else is talking about the “Orchestra Hit”. I definitely heard it on many songs from my childhood and vividly remember it in the theme song for the show “In Living Color”! I’ve also heard it annoyed the heck out of people by the late 80s lol. Man, Vox! I love how you guys tell history! Kudos 😀

  • ben einav
    ben einav  8 months ago +18

    actually Stravinsky is not a one huge hit men, he's got few famous ballets, actually, 3 that are the really famous: "Fire Bird", "Petrushka" and "The Rite Of Spring"

  • Andi B
    Andi B  4 days ago +5

    Wait, we've had touch screens for that long?

  • Retsam
    Retsam  a years ago +1368

    ... and it was even used in Pokemon Music :D