IPA Paired – Repurposing music for productivity

IPA Paired is a happy hour blog series by the IPA Source office staff – business manager Nora and tech manager Eric. While skillful at keeping IPA Source running well, Nora & Eric have no formal music background, unless you consider their time in high school band!


Today’s post was inspired by the New York Times article, “5 Minutes That Will Make You Love Baroque Music.”


Tonight’s pairing is vodka in two different styles, to go along with our repurposing/reinventing theme. I’m enjoying Ketel One Cucumber Mint Botanical, and Eric is enjoying Stoli Salted Karamel.

Lascia la spina, performed in the video below by Cecilia Bartoli, transports the listener to a calmer state of mind. “Leave the thorn, gather the rose” reminds us to look at the positives and overlook the negatives, apt advice for life during Covid-19.

Lascia la spina, an Aria of Piacere (Pleasure) from the oratorio Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, is perfect for the soprano voice. The text was written by Cardinal Benedetto Pamphilj (Benedetto Pamphili) (1653–1730) and set by Georg Friedrich Händel (1685–1759).

Checking the IPA Source database, I also noticed Händel’s Lascia ch’io pianga, from the opera, Rinaldo. Listening to the performance, the melody is exactly the same.


Deutsche Welle writes about the recycling or repurposing of music by composers who lived during Händel’s time period. Beate Angelika Kraus, a lecturer in church music history at the Cologne University of Music and Dance notes:

“You have to imagine how much material was composed at the time. In order to meet the demands of the princes or churches, people had to be unbelievably productive,” said Kraus. “And why shouldn’t one have another look at a work that was decidedly successful? That was customary and accepted.”

Composers like Händel needed to work efficiently to meet the demands of the volume of oratorios he produced.

Recycling or repurposing is also occurring  in cover songs that we hear in contemporary music. The University of California, Riverside newspaper, The Highlander, says:

Cover songs are to music what recycling is to the environment

The article talks about singers who cover songs without adding their own spin, and opines that those singers are just capitalizing on someone else’s hard work.

The article also discusses a very well-known contemporary song, Respect:

Take for example Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” which was originally written and performed by Otis Redding. Franklin’s version of “Respect” has been hailed as a feminist anthem, while Redding’s is more aligned with the more traditional and oppressive gender roles at the time of its release. By singing the song from a woman’s perspective, Franklin changes its entire meaning and ultimately appeals to a different demographic. Her version of the song is still being played today and has completely overshadowed the original version, which would be considered misogynistic in our contemporary society.

As someone without a formal music background, the notion of recycling music during the Baroque period was intriguing and something I hadn’t considered. Clearly times have changed. While recycling of music is now viewed through a different lens than it was during Händel’s time, we continue to see how repurposing has kept our musical conversation lively.


– Nora