Yo whatup, I'm Kirsh. I've been DJing since 1999 and I enjoy being a moderator on here. I joined whosampled to share my knowledge of hip-hop, breakbeats, classical, Jazz, pioneering rock & roll and general Americana.
I'm out here trying to show that sampling has been around probably since the dawn of music. Before there was direct sampling, there was something called musical quotation, musical borrowing, or transformative imitation and it has been in use for at least hundreds of years. Because of this, IMO, direct sampling came about as an inevitability which came along with the advent of recording. It only makes sense that recordings were first manipulated for sampling on a grand scale with the first public device released for playing recordings- the record player.
Classical Music Sampling : I was surprised to find that the great classical composers used to sample quite often, especially with folk music, but it's just that time has made a lot of their samples too obscure to reference. In fact a classical composer could have sampled while making the sample unrecognizable using a number of compositional techniques including but not limited to inversion (Playing the same notes upside down), retrograde (playing the notes backwards), the combination of retrograde inversion, augmentation (making notes longer), diminution (making notes shorter) and transposition (playing the same notes in a different key center). If you use my submission of Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini as an example, at the bottom of the page I explain how Rachmaninoff inverts the notes and creates a completely different melody from the Paganini theme, making it impossible to link the two melodies by simply listening. Composers can also borrow the form of other pieces (what we know as verse chorus verse) because form was much more complicated in the age of classical music. They also could have copied orchestration techniques or modulation schemes (ways of moving to other keys within a piece). This isn't to say at all that the Classical composers didn't write completely original music because they definitely did but quotations or what we know today as samples can be found in the works of Handle, Mozart and Tchaikovsky just to name a few.