Monday, September 21

A Great Supercut of “The Lick”: The Musical Meme That Shows Up Everywhere From Coltrane, to Stravinsky, to Christina Aguilera

"A couple years ago, we brought you a post on the history of the 'Amen Break,' six seconds of sampled drums from a gospel instrumental that—since sampling began in the 80s—has became a ubiquitous rhythmic element in virtually every popular genre of rhythm-based music, from hip-hop, to drum and bass, to EDM. While the technology that enabled the 'Amen Break' may be unique to the digital era, the sample’s endless iterations show us something timeless about how music evolves. Picking up on Richard Dawkins’ 1976 coining of the term 'meme,' Susan Blackmore argued in The Meme Machine that 'what makes us different' from other animals 'is our ability to imitate…. When you imitate someone else, something is passed on. This ‘something’ can then be passed on again, and again, and so take on a life of its own.' ...”
Open Culture (Video)