Sampling Amen


I came across this educational video about one of the most sampled tracks of all time … and I wanted to share it and talk a bit about sampling. Sampling in music is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or as a different sound recording of a song.  With the coffers of music overflowing with gems to plunder, I urge you as artists while you are standing on the shoulders of giants not to do anything that will cause you to fall.  Do not just use it and say a prayer no one will notice. Especially, if you plan to exploit the material commercially, identify the rightsholders and clear any sample you use even if its only 2 seconds to ensure that you have a legally viable product unless … (a) it is already in the public domain or (b) if the defense of fair use can be applied.  When in doubt consult an attorney.

The History of the Amen Break

“This fascinating, brilliant 20-minute video narrates the history of the “Amen Break,” a six-second drum sample from the b-side of a chart-topping single from 1969. This sample was used extensively in early hiphop and sample-based music, and became the basis for drum-and-bass and jungle music — a six-second clip that spawned several entire subcultures. Nate Harrison’s 2004 video is a meditation on the ownership of culture, the nature of art and creativity, and the history of a remarkable music clip.”
- via youtube: mobius32

Contact me directly at if you have specific questions about sample clearance.

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