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.

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.

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?

Sophia Neilsson : This makes my inner music student overwhelmingly happy

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

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

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!

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 :-)

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

KAIZAR : 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.

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

Chryss S : the moment you first mentioned "orchestra hit" made me remember my yamaha keyboard😍

Captain Crunch : Wooooo 80's synth!!! The Spotify playlist makes me want to thrown on a windbreaker and find my walkman.

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"

Lock&Load 77 : Thank you. Absolutely first rate video. Really interesting. I loved it!

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

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

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 😀

scose : good modern usage: second half of Grimes's "Obliviion"

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

Anees Samir : wow... love the way you present the history of music... keep going on... love ya..👍👍

Monserrat Fallas Madrigal : I love that Kate Bush was featured in this video. Thank you.

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

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.

Alejandro Iduñate : You can still listening the hit orchestra in japanese contemporary music. Pop,metal etc etc.. Anime intros too.

ursus_canis : The Orchestra Hit is the key to time travel, I'm sure of it.

FinnDoesStuff : Immediately I thought of smooth criminal

David Luiz Pereira Leite : What an incredible video, awesome work

aishwarya rawat : *who knew Stravinsky was so lit*

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

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.

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

Dark Carousel : This opened a world of submissions for me on Whosampled. LOL

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

Mark Mason : Robert Fink is a legend. His history of EDM class was awesome!

Spectrum UK : Keith Sweat - I Want Her is basically the original Bruno Mars - Finesse

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

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

uts melasip : The mortal kombat theme has the orchestra hit.

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

pernus : I've played the firebird multiple times. damn it is so hard to play!!!

Chryss S : 🤗andddd in that movie "fifth element" in the introduction of flava laguna ... the annoying m.c... everytime he moves tgey use the orch hit😅 haha

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.

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

Edward Maxwell : Great exposé as usual, Estelle. People check out Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, and Petrushka. You're welcome.

f4tornado : 4:23 Not anymore RIP Auxy, I will never forget how one day you held all my work hostage behind a subscription wall. ;-(