The Amen Break

Sep 23, 21
The Amen Break

The Amen Break Explained!


The Amen Break is one of the most sampled songs in music history and has been sampled over 4,500 times. So, where did it come from?


In 1969 a soul group named ‘The Winstons’ released a track ‘Colour him father’ inspired from ‘Amen, Bother’ which is an old gospel song. At first it wasn’t really given much attention but over the years has become highly influential. 


The Amen Break is a drum & bass break, they didn’t have enough music to cover the track so they created a drum solo. Phil Tolatta said “the solo was pure GC” as it isn’t clear who actually created the break. 


So why did those six seconds become so popular?

It’s the blend of something that sounds so robotic and organic, people like to chop it up and make something really cool from it.


What is the Golden Ratio and why is it relevant to the Amen Break?

The golden ratio is a layout that Greeks realised generates a visual - each part being added on to the next to create a form and so on. So, it relates to the amen break because the wave from the break seemed to pop up at the main points of the golden ratio intervals. Many people find that very interesting to think about.


The break also played a role in helping develop music like Drum n Bass and Hip Hop, they use the sample for inspiration.

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