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Bring that Beat Back: Sampling as Virtual Collaboration

Oliver, Rowan



Sheila Whiteley

Shara Rambarran


This chapter focuses on music technology and production techniques that predate the Internet but have contemporary relevance. The role of digital sampling in the development of hip hop, and other subsequent genres based around use of “breakbeats,” is widely acknowledged and has been explored from various perspectives. This chapter argues that the creative interplay between the contemporary producer who samples and the instrumentalist whose performance is sampled can be read as a process of virtual collaboration. By considering use of sampled breakbeats in a range of examples, the chapter explores this contemporary, virtual “musicking,” in which collaboration becomes possible for performers and producers working across temporal, geographical, and stylistic boundaries. Fundamental to the breakbeat’s role here is Steven Shaviro’s notion of a musical environment in which the digital “re-becomes analogue,” a characterization of sampling that is integral to contemporary understanding of groove and collaborative music making.


Oliver, R. (2016). Bring that Beat Back: Sampling as Virtual Collaboration. In S. Whiteley, & S. Rambarran (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Music and Virtuality (65-80). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Publication Date Mar 10, 2016
Deposit Date May 22, 2019
Publisher Oxford University Press
Pages 65-80
Book Title The Oxford Handbook of Music and Virtuality
ISBN 9780199321285
Keywords Sampling; Breakbeat; Groove; Musicking; Hip hop
Public URL
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