Music Sampling – Laws and Regulations of Sampling Copyrighted Material

In regards to the music world, “sampling” refers to taking a clip of one sound recording and using it again within another piece of music. Although sampling tracing its history back to the first tape recorders, it became popular in modern music starting in the 1970s during the beginnings of hip hop music. At the time, sounds were sampled by playing them back manually on record or tape players. However, the arrival of hardware sampling equipment simplified the process and now music software has made working with sampled sounds even easier.

Though sampling has allowed for the creation of entire new genres of music and is quite commonplace in popular music, it carries with it a range of legal aspects that artists should be aware of.

Typically, when an artist or producer includes a sample of someone else’s music song without their permission, it is an act of copyright infringement (as defined by the “unauthorized use of copyrighted material”). This, of course, only applies if the sampled song was copyrighted. If that is the case, it is likely that the person sampling the material has violated two copyrights, namely the sound recording copyright, which generally belongs to the record label who released the song, as well and the copyright of the song itself, which is most likely held by the artist who wrote the song.

There is some confusion regarding how much of a recording may be sampled before it is liable for copyright violation. So-called “fair use” policies apply to creative works, including music, and many believe that if a sample is short enough, meaning only a very tiny portion of music is sampled (perhaps less than a few seconds), then it is allowed under law. This is completely untrue – any amount of copyrighted music that is included in sampled without permission is grounds for copyright violation litigation.

So what are the penalties for copyright infringement? That varies, of course, but in the US, it starts with a fine of between $500 and $20,000. However, besides being able to force artists who break copyright laws to pay that amount (and possibly more), a court may also force musicians to withdraw all copies of their work that has violated the copyright owner’s rights. If the sampled material was released as part of an album, for example, that can mean having to recall the album from store shelves, at great cost to the artist and their recording company.

Because of the risks involved, artists are strongly cautioned to obtain permission from copyright holders before using samples in their music. If this is not possible or affordable, the sample should be removed or, alternatively, it could be replaced with a sample of a piece of music that is in the public domain.

Places to Download Music Videos

One of the nicest things about having video MP3 CD players is that you don’t have to settle for only hearing the music when you play your favorite songs. You can also bring along your favorite videos, as well. Of course, you first need to know how to download music videos which can be played on your player.

Know the Formats Supported

When you decide to download this file, you should first know what formats are supported by your player. There are several, including WMV, AVI, and MPEG-4. If you download this file in a format not supported by your digital mp3 player, you simply won’t be able to view them. That is unless you also get a converter.

Converters are basically software programs that change the file format. These are already very popular for music files because not all of the file formats available are supported by all of the players and because some music enthusiasts prefer specific file formats to others because of supposed improvements in sound quality.

Of course, if you just want to download music videos without the hassle of doing any conversions, your best bet is to know the formats first then start browsing for music.

Know Where to Look

If you’re going to download music videos, you will usually need to pay for them. Most of the same online vendors who will sell you MP3 files will be more than happy to also sell you the download music video but at a higher price. For example, individual songs may cost less than a $1 at most of these stores but videos cost at least twice that much. You could shop around for a better value but the price has become fairly standard across the download music videos industry.

One of the downsides to videos, however, is that you won’t be able to find them in many other places. While you can go to sites like, download music videos, and play them on your computer, you won’t be able to view them on your MP3 player. The same is true for the clips you find. Remember just because you can download music videos and view them on your computer doesn’t mean they will work as well on your actual mp3 player.

Another option you could consider is using some of the peer to peer downloading programs. These can be used without any kind of risk as long as you are only downloading videos from artists that are not part of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Otherwise, you could end up in a lot of legal trouble just because you want to download music videos.

Getting What You Want

If you definitely want to download music videos for your portable MP3 player, your best choice is going through the online vendors. They have the largest selection and are typically compatible with most of the portable mp3 players on the market. While the price may be a bit steep, sometimes paying extra is worth it.

How to Keep to Time Playing Piano and Other Music Instruments

The problem with not keeping to time in music is that you sow bad habits, which results in music with no rhythm, sounding all over the place. When you play along with your teacher, friends, family or to a CD/tape, the risk is always that you run ahead of the music you play to. This creates chaos and ensures everything sounds off-kilter. In these cases, what needs to be exercised are CDSC – Concentration, Discipline and Self Control.

Now if you’re put off by these last four words, don’t be! These are great qualities which can be integrated into your learning to help you play music in time.

Time, speed and rhythm are essential in playing any instrument. These are all important because what would seem like a bunch of notes to the listener, now becomes an understandable and identifiable tune. Time speed and rhythm act as the framework, the ‘skeleton’ if you like.

To get a sense of time and rhythm when playing a piece of music, you need to have/develop good hearing and a feel for beats and pulse. Some people say ‘I have no rhythm’ (mainly referring to dance) however, nearly everyone has the ability to nod their head to the beat of their favourite tune.

As an example, if you were to play your favourite song now and had to sing to it, you’d probably make a good go of copying the rhythm of the words so they fell on the right beats.

This same approach should be adopted for when playing an instrument. In the case of piano, it means transferring how you’d sing your song into how you’d play it on the keyboard.

The simple way to develop your rhythm is with simple clapping exercises.

First, get someone (friend, family, music teacher/tutor etc) to clap anything to begin with. Your aim is simply to copy the clapping. The more accurate you are, the more you’ll be able to copy rhythms you hear. Make sure they make their clapping progressively more advanced so you know at what stage you can still copy what you hear.

Get someone to play a rhythmic melody (piano or any other instrument will do) sand see if you can copy the rhythm played with clapping. Then respond but this time with playing your instrument instead.

Listen to your favourite piece of music and nod your head. This can be done by listening for the bass line (the lowest-sounding part of the music) which can be bass guitar, drums, or any other deep electronic beats/sounds underpinning the music. Start clapping or clicking your fingers. This is when you feel and ‘get’ the beat.

Get a metronome and listen to the particular ‘beeps’ (if electronic like the Qwik Time QT7, Boss DB60 Dr Beat or any Clip-On Digital metronome that will help you play in perfect time) or ‘click’/’chimes’ (if a traditional pendulum-style one like a Wittner Classic). To begin with when listening, see if you can clap on those beeps/chimes only. After a while, test yourself by increasing the speed and see if you can still clap exactly at the time these sounds occur.

Develop ear training and aural skills. Aural test CDs can help with this. Again, when playing the CD, you will have exercises for singing back a melody which will be sung in a certain rhythm. Sing it back exactly the same way, including the rhythm. For example, if I were to sing “Twiiii-nkle, Twiiii-nkle, Liiiii-tle Star”, then you would aim to sing it back the same way, e.g. slowly. An understanding of basic music theory helps as when playing, you can see if you’re holding notes for longer or shorter than necessary according to the time signature given at the start of the music.

When learning to play in time, start slowly so you can understand the concept of falling on the beat. If you have a metronome and set it at too fast a speed, you’ll simply learn bad habits, so make sure you can nod to the beep/chime/click etc as well as play to it.

Record yourself. You need to hear when you’re going out of time with the music you’r e playing to. It could be a basic guitar riff or baseline or some simple chords played with your left hand. If you have lessons, get your teacher to record you while you play the music together. Make sure he/she doesn’t tell you if you’re out of time. After playing back you’ll soon know if you were in time with your teacher’s playing or not.


When listening to your favourite music, try nodding to the beat, then clapping or clicking your fingers to time. Record yourself doing this then play back. What were the results? If you’re not sure, get someone with ‘better ears’ to comment and help out. Do regularly until you’ve developed an understanding of coming on time.