The story behind the tracking left and right to enable remixing and karaoke is that I’m thinking about ways for songs to contain their own source code, so that every listenable object can easily be disassembled into parts.

The model is the way that web pages always reveal the HTML, CSS and Javascript that they are made out of. This led to fast uptake of ideas and evolution of techniques as developers cherry picked the best ideas for their own creations, which were themselves available for cherry picking. In the end the web as a whole became a freakishly productive and innovative environment.

Why try to do this with music? Because the long view of musical trends that I’m getting by digging through historical archives is making me aware of the way that music evolves by cherry picking, and this is making me want to structure the musical environment to promote cherry picking.

Even though the change would be structural, the impact would be in the music itself. Weak hooks would disappear from the flow within a generation or two, strong ones would be an even bigger part of the landscape. Better arrangements would be used as skeletons for new work. And the kind of ugly horribleness that the inbreeding of commercial pop culture gives us would be wiped out faster than a race of mules.