Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sampling vs Inspiration vs Imitation, Bob Dylan's "Hard Rain"

Many people are very familiar with Bob Dylan's classic, song, "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall."  Released in 1962, it has gone on to become one of the most recognizable counter-culture folk songs in history.  If you're not familiar with it, here's a recording:




There is often much debate about the ethics and practices of sampling in modern music.  Fifty years ago, before computers and modern recording equipment made it easy to sample parts of other artists' music, the only way to "copy" something was to perform it again.

Here's a good example of how one song can influence another.  This song is an older Scottish children's ballad, which obviously pre-dates Dylan's work:



When does inspiration and influence cross the line to become imitation?  In this case, there was no copyright infringement because of the nature of the original source material.

If you study the history of music, you'll soon find that a lot of music has been recycled and reinvented over the years.






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