The sound that connects Stravinsky to Bruno Mars
The sound sample that connects Stravinsky to Bruno Mars

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It’s an 1980s pop music cliche that dates back to 1910. Subscribe to our channel! If 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: Fairlight CMI app: Peter Vogel CMI by Peter Vogel Instruments Pty Ltd Robert Fink's paper: Some 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: And 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 Watch our full video catalog: Follow Vox on Facebook: Or Twitter:


xWood4000 : These music explanations are great.

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

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

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

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

Sophia Neilsson : This makes my inner music student overwhelmingly happy

C. S. Parker : NWA was talking about the Fab Five Freddy "ahh" sound. Not the orchestra hit. Listen to the damn song.

Viswanath Aditham : Is this what Ross Geller used to find his "Sound"?

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.

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

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

Emilio Doménech : Best show on YouTube. And I'm not that into music anyway, but this is SO good.

xisumavoid : 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 :-)

Daniel Retta : Stravinsky most definitely did not invent the idea of the orchestra hit

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

Ron Reynolds : Now THIS is what these episodes need to be more like. Actual research and explanations. Not like your "fade out" or "rap triplet" videos that weren't very well done. More like this please.

Aspie In a Bowtie : 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.

Keiv Brown : Stravinsky "New Jack Swing" Thanks you!

Kawsaki : 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 😀

The Someawesome : YES EARWORM IS BACK!! Best thing on Vox. Keep them coming!!

Rafa Rodhes : Thank you for educating us on music. I love these 💖💖💖

Tommy Kavounidis : For those wondering Bruno didn't use a CMI for his orchestra hit sample his sounds more like a Korg orchestra hit sample.

Applehead's Love : Michael Jackson started playing OMGGGG I SANG GURL

E M : All these examples and not one shoutout to BBD's Poison??? GODAMN MISSED OPPORTUNITY.

FinnDoesStuff : Immediately I thought of smooth criminal

MelinaLovesBass : Why would you reference Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite a bunch of times and not even include it on your orchestra hit playlist? Everyone should listen to the original “orchestral hit” and see why it is such a truly great work of art.

Judy Apelsin : This opened a world of submissions for me on Whosampled. LOL

Roy mckane : Ansolutely love this series, keep up the good work, saludos desde Baja México, 🇲🇽

Brandon Tha Editor : the BEST use of an orchestral hit is in the use of "Crank Dat" by the legend Souija Boi...

Ruben de Jong : No mentioning of the guy that introduces Stravinsky is Leonard Bernstein? ok.

aishwarya rawat : *who knew Stravinsky was so lit*

Sumair Bawa : I immediately thought of "Jam" by Michael Jackson

The Campfire : That was WAAAAY more interesting than I expected. GREAT video.

ben einav : 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"

Jairo Cuadra : Best series on YouTube.

Rafael Santos : Haha they were basically doing what every child does when he gets to touch a synth or electric keyboard :p

CalpolMeister : This is by far and away the best episode of Earworm I've ever had the pleasure of watching

Ringing My Ass dogsTV : damn the last time I heard that sound was in 2007.

geht euchnichtsan : Whoa that Fairlight CMI with pen input was so far ahead of its time. The rhythm that Herbie Hancock programmed sounds like "this is how we do" from the game thou :D

Ashish Gurung : watch patiently and this documentary will blow your mind. Great explanation. Phenomenal. 👍👍

VARIOUS : Aye, the best Vox series is back! Great stuff as always, I love learning all this history behind stuff I've been hearing for ages but never really gave any thought to.

Bianca Pardinas : This video was full of song recommendations and I love it

Chance Ussery : I love the 80s so Bruno is great for me.

I Don't Care : *@**5:16** "Tatyana Ali". Its Ashley Banks From Fresh Prince.*

Shinigami : I remember NBA Jam's themes (main menu music) were composed of only Orch Hits lol

Dani : is that a touchscreen from 1975??

Cynshet : The best Orch-Hit Sounds were used in the early 90s, raw and hard like in Quadrophonia - Quadrophonia and of course the mother of all Orch-Hits: U96 - Das Boot!

tbraysfan2008 : 4:18 mark sounds like “Drop it Like It’s Hot” by Snoop Dog