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The Amen Break, the most important 6-second drum loop ever


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IMO, the Amen Break has been so overused that it's almost become a joke when I hear it now. It's like... really? You had to go to that? I think I have a few keyboards that even have it programmed into permanent memory.

 

Interesting video, tho.

Another interesting series of videos is from this dude. Great way to waste an hour or two...

I guess I head no idea where the Amen break originated ... Just assumed it was the default DnB break from somewhere random.

 

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That video confirms my previous suspicion that a great deal of new music is based off of something older. That was pretty cool to watch, though!
"When a piano falls on Yadier Molina get back to me, four letter." - Me, upon reading a ESPN update referencing the 'injury-plagued Cardinals'
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Interesting stuff, though I wish he would have focused more on the music and less on his senior paper. It is a shame that copyright is becoming such a hindrance to art. I doubt most modern music would exist (as we know it) if not for jacking other peoples beats/riffs.
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****IMO, more than 99.9% of music (and art in general) is derivative. It's discovering that <0.1% that keeps it worth listening to, at least for me. ****

 

so the 99.9% isn't worth listening to on it's own merits, it's just chaff? I couldn't really disagree more.

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so the 99.9% isn't worth listening to on it's own merits, it's just chaff?

In some form or another, yes. Go to Best Buy, go to the Rock section and buy 10 random CDs. When you listen to each of those albums, you will find similar song structures and similar instrumentation. In some form or another, the following will exist: guitar, bass, drums. Maybe keyboards and/or horns. Even if someone gets really wild and does a song comprised of only verses with a chord progression of B flat-F-D sharp minor in 7/4 time, it's been done by someone, somewhere before.

 

That's not to say that the 10 albums you picked out weren't really good and enjoyable to listen to. Good musicianship and songwriting skill always have their own merits. But there are almost always extremely derivative.
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And That wrote:

Even if someone gets really wild and does a song comprised of only verses with a chord progression of B flat-F-D sharp minor in 7/4 time, it's been done by someone, somewhere before.

Yep...basically they probably just chopped and inserted to create the 5/4 (or 7/4 as you mentioned). I thought that Dream Theatre was pretty original until I started hearing trends there as well....

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****In some form or another, yes. Go to Best Buy, go to the Rock section and buy 10 random CDs. When you listen to each of those albums, you will find similar song structures and similar instrumentation. In some form or another, the following will exist: guitar, bass, drums. Maybe keyboards and/or horns. Even if someone gets really wild and does a song comprised of only verses with a chord progression of B flat-F-D sharp minor in 7/4 time, it's been done by someone, somewhere before. ****

 

Ok, but isn't part of the problem that there are only so many instruments/chords/notes/etc.? I mean what you just typed has surely been typed almost exactly by someone else at some point, any sort of originality is merely a progression at some point, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist at all.

 

I mean, look at almost anything interesting in terms of art (music, paintings, sculpture, books, comics, whatever), even things that seem groundbreaking usually have pretty clear precedents if you do enough digging. And if they don't, you are almost talking about originality for originality's sake, which I don't believe has any sort of inherent or intrinsic merit. I mean, look at, for example, "Metal Machine Music" by Lou Reed. It was an album that was almost wholly original in sound (at least in terms of something being sold as pop music, though there had been some limited experiments with that sort of thing), but is also considered the worst album of all time by most people who have heard it.

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heck, i'd make the epistomologic argument that all thought, not just art and music, is derivitave. I have an English degree, and you can see it in literature, too. but it's building on those well-worn foundations and expanding on it that makes one artist different from another.
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Ok, but isn't part of the problem that there are only so many instruments/chords/notes/etc.?

There are only as many instruments, chords and notes as we limit ourselves to having.

And of course my argument isn't specifically about music. Virtually everything is derivative. That's why great art is so rare.

 

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On further reflection, I don't know if I've gone far enough. I mean, the basic structure of pop songs has been around since at least the 13th century and probably predates that. I'm sure if you look hard enough, the epic of gilgamesh or some other BCE poem has a verse/chorus/verse/chorus/verse structure. Are there any guitar riffs that don't have their beginnings in Blind Willie Johnson or Son House or Charley Patton or Robert Johnson or Tommy Johnson or Skip James? And didn't those guys get those from traveling musicians, who probably got them from even earlier musicians and so on? Any basic drum beat has probably been around for thousands of years. Didn't Beethoven get many of his basic ideas from his heroes Mozart and Haydn? Hell, didn't Shakespeare rip off the plots of numerous older plays and books for his plays? Didn't the Impressionists consciously echo the old masters in many of their works?

 

I guess my point is that saying something has been influenced by something else is hardly an insult, in my opinion. By using the epithet "derivative", however, you are appearing to dismiss the vast majority of human culture.

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I guess my point is that saying something has been influenced by something else is hardly an insult, in my opinion. By using the epithet "derivative", however, you are appearing to dismiss the vast majority of human culture.

I never dismissed anything, or insulted anything.

 

And the section of that post I didn't quote proved my point that everything is derivative. Thanks. =)

 

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****There are only as many instruments, chords and notes as we limit ourselves to having.****

 

True enough, at least in a linear sense. However, I defy you to name one person in the past 100 years who created a (wholly) new instrument and also then created great music for it.

 

 

****And of course my argument isn't specifically about music. Virtually everything is derivative. That's why great art is so rare. ****

 

Yes, everything is derviative, where we differ is whether something being influenced by something else disqualifies it from being great art. No director has ever been a great artist since Luis Le Prince? No Poet has ever been great? No novelist since Apuleius?

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***I never dismissed anything, or insulted anything. ***

 

I said you *appear* to dismiss everything, because derivative is considered an insulting word in artistic circles. I even looked it up to make sure my sense of the definition was correct, and it is. From the Oxford American Dictionary: "imitative of the work of another person, and usually disapproved of for that reason"

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But you just said 99.9% of music (the same percentage you said was derivative) is chaff (in other words, garbage). How is it not thus reasonable to assume that you were arguing: derivative equals not good.
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