Who would have thought that a six-second clip of a brief drum solo performed in 1969 by Gregory Cylvester “G. C.” Coleman in the song “Amen, Brother” performed by the 1960s funk and soul outfit The Winstons, would have spawned entire subcultures of music.

As a fan of music, you owe it to yourself to listen to Nate Harrison as he narrates the history and significance of the Amen Break and how stringent copyright laws deter progress in music.

To trace the history of the Amen Break, is to trace the history of a brief period of time when it seemed digital tools offered a potentially unlimited amount of new forms of expression. Where a cultural production (at least musically) was full of possibilities by virtue of being able to freely appropriate from the musical past. To make new combinations and thus new meanings.