Grammy Awards change rules, allow samples in songwriting categories

The Recording Association makes a long-overdue rule change.

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards (scheduled for February 8, 2015) will feature a number of new, streamlined categories, along with a major rule change: samples or interpolations of previously written songs are now recognized in all songwriting categories. Previously, this was only the case with Best Rap Song, due to “the unique craft of writing rap songs.”

With sampling a crucial part of contemporary music — in hip-hop and beyond — for the past four decades (with interpolations having an even longer history), the rule change is certainly a welcome one. Earlier this year, FACT revisited 10 legendary samples and the stories behind them.

In addition to the sampling rule, the “Dance/Electronica Field” has been changed to “Dance/Electronic Field,” dropping the decades-old “electronica” — ironic, considering the term has been rehabbed over the past few years. There are also name changes and new guidelines for gospel, classical, and alternative music categories.



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