Thursday, March 11, 2010

Video explains the world's most important 6-sec drum loop

While we are on the subject of copyright law, this video is a perfect illustration as to the futility of policing copyright infringement in the digital age. But it is also an illustration of just how intertwined the act of appropriation is in the act of creativity itself. Creativity is literally the act of putting together things that you have experienced before in ways that you have not experienced before.
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.

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