Sampling, Samples and Library Music

  • Samuel Cameron
Part of the Cultural Economics & the Creative Economy book series (CECE)


In this chapter sampling audio products is reviewed as a source of plagiarism and its complex possibilities of triggering further traditional composition claims are enumerated. The various meanings of an audio ‘sample’ are explained and a brief technical history of the development of sampling methods is given. This leads into the case for ‘loop based composition’ as a valid alternative to traditional composition which can equally be ‘transformative’ of the core material used. The external benefit argument, in terms of ‘rubbish theory’, is given that some hip hop sampling adds value to neglected or obsolete outputs by recycling/upscaling them. We go on to look at genres of music, other than hip hop, which are overtly sample-based and which make a claim for free use of samples being the optimal policy. These are the Plunderphonics work of John Oswald and the online internet community genre of Vaporwave. A critique is given of the claim that such work constitutes an ideological attack on capitalism.


Sampling Bricolage Beat Amen Break Plunderphonics Vaporwave Hip hop 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel Cameron
    • 1
  1. 1.BradfordUK

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