How Music Sampling Works

Music Sampling: Cheat Sheet

Stuff you need to know:

  • Music sampling is the process of lifting a section, such as a drum beat, from a song and including it in a new song.
  • The evolution of hip hop and rap in the 1980 and ‘90s relied heavily on sampling, often taking samples from soul and funk music of the ‘60s and ‘70s and looping them so they repeat over and over.
  • The roots of sampling pre-date hip hop, however, and originated in experimental music of the 1940s and ‘50s.
  • As sampling grew in popularity, the copyright laws soon caught up, making it increasingly difficult and expensive to sample music.

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