There is great creativity in sampling music—the best such work totally transforms sounds originated by musicians playing real instruments (often on old records) into totally unrecognizable but still musically vital works. For an example of how it works, listen this upcoming Friday at 10:00 p.m. to Future Blues on CBC Radio Two, for an explanation by DJ RJD2 of how he does it, with examples. It's fascinating.
Creative Commons, whose license (bottom of the page) I use for my original content on this website, has just announced a sampling license, which can help make that kind of artistry easier to do legally.
I suspect that if I were beginning my musical career today, some turntables, a sampler, and maybe an iPod or two might be my instruments of choice. Then again, there is great pleasure in hitting things as hard as I can with wooden sticks. No batteries required.