Drum machines are a type of step sequencer that emulate sounds of a drummer. Some iconic drum machines, like the Roland TR-808, with their signature electronic drum sound, became the foundation of much of hip-hop and modern music production. A sequencer is a piece of hardware or software that can be programmed to make a certain sound at a certain time. With a step sequencer, the instructions happen one "step" at a time. There are a multitude of different sequencers, but some of the most common are step sequencers. They function much like modern score: they read left to right, one block at a time in steps (after this happens, this happens, then this happens, etc). Here are a few different drum machines and step sequencers you can use with learners to explore beatmaking that can be used for various other creative activities.
I began thinking about the concept of a “Continuum of Creativity” after watching Adam Neely’s video “Why No Rap Covers?” In the video, Adam Neely, and Ethan Hein examine the idea of why rap covers are so rare. It comes down to an unwritten rule throughout hip-hop culture that dictates, lyrically and sonically speaking, that covering (biting) other rappers is disrespectful and should not be done. Of course “covering” is common in jazz and in rock music culture, as well as a number of other Western musical traditions. As Adam points out in the video, there is a book of songs that every jazz musician needs to know how to play. In rock music, there are tribute bands devoted to copying entire recordings note-for-note.
Podcasts have become popular, and it seems today that everyone and their dog has a podcast worth listening to. I often think about starting one of my own but am in awe of the shear amount of work it is to find good guests, topics, and to keep a steady schedule of recording. Regardless, I … Continue reading 3 Podcast Episodes You Might Actually Need
So, you've learned about Google's new Blob Opera. It's fun, right? This online machine-learning app is more than just a fun time filler. It has the potential to enable creativity, and can give learners the opportunity to play with the concepts of not only composition, but also arranging, blend and vowel formation, ear training, voice types and ranges, computer programming, and even theory! Here are some ideas for including Blob Opera into your lesson plans.
2020, of course, will be the year we all talk about as the year everything changed. This list of the 10 most popular blog posts on Steve's Music Room from 2020 will go down as one of the most diverse and most interesting to date. Reading through some of these titles will certainly tell a … Continue reading Top 10 Blog Posts on Steve’s Music Room for 2020