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The Age of Electronic Music

Electronic music hasn’t been around long in the realm of music’s timeline, due to the fact it has only been with technology that it came into being. What does the term Electronic Music mean exactly? Its formal definition is ‘music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production’.

Others say electronic music is that which is composed using electronic techniques (sampling, synthesizing, filtering, etc) and the focus of the piece is on the electronic aspects. So vocals can be part of an electronic composition, but they need to support the other electronic elements. Other definitions state that it is any music made with any electronic device.

While electronic music started in the late 19th century with the ability to record music it didn’t become popular until late 1960s due to the availability of affordable music technology. Today electronic music includes many varieties and ranges from experimental art music to popular forms such as electronic dance music.

Electronic music became experimental in the seventies with bands such as The Residents and Can. The band Can was one of the first bands to use tape loops for rhythm sections and The Residents created a custom built drum machine. Other artists in the 1970s who composed primarily electronic instrumental music were Jean Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and Vangelis. More notorious bands of the 70s who were incorporating synthesizers into their traditional rock arrangements included bands such as Genesis or The Cars. In British realms, there is David Bowie and Roxy Music.

Successful hit electronic singles in the early 1980s included “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode, “Don’t You Want Me” by The Human League, “Whip It!” by Devo, and finally 1983′s “Blue Monday” by New Order, which became the best-selling 12-inch single of all time. There was also Prince, Peter Gabriele and Depeche Mode who featured synthesizers and gave electronic music a boost.

Today, within the electronic music genre, there are numerous styles, they include: Ambient, Breakbeat/Breaks, Downtempo,IDm, Hardcore Technology, Industrial, Jungle/D’n'B, Techno, Trance, and House.

Within each of these groupsigs are further subgroupings. Each style is identified by its beat. For example, Breakbeat is identified by its use of intricate rhythms for their drum patterns with heavy amounts of syncopation in a 4/4 beat with the bass hitting the 1st and 3rd beats and the snare hitting the 2nd and 4th beats. It is different from the steady beats seem in other styles such as house.

Computer technology and software has also helped the electronic music industry evolve. As technology and software becomes more advanced, opportunities for musicians or producers has increased.

Such tools provide viable and cost-effective alternatives to typical hardware-based production studios, and with advances in microprocessor technology, professionals say it is now possible to create high quality music using little more than a single laptop computer. These advances have lead to a large increase in the amount of home-produced electronic music available to the general public via the Internet. Artists can now also individuate their production practice by creating personalized software synthesizers, effects modules, and various composition environments. Devices that once existed exclusively in the hardware domain can easily have virtual counterparts.

There may be no end to the world of electronic music as more types of sounds are discovered through manipulating electronics and then reconstructing them into tempos. While electronic music may not have been around for a while, we may only be experiencing its very beginnings only to see it evolve quite significantly into the future.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

SoundScan and why it Matters

What makes a song a top hit? Is it the instruments, singers, sound, tempo, or rhythm? Or is it more mathematically calculated? A top hit is given a rating from SoundScan that is shown to us courtesy of the Billboard top hits list. Songs listed under the category top hits are usually our favorite and most catchy tunes. The more a song is played, the more we like it, and are more inclined to buy the band or solo artist’s CD or download the song onto our home computers.

Mike Shallet and Mike Fine are the creators of the Nielsen SoundScan. It is a calculated method of information that tracks and records the number of sales of CDs and other music products. To be listed as a top hit, the band or artist needs to sell a lot of CDs or music videos/products and stay consistent with sales. The higher the sales, the higher up on the list they will be. You can find the list of top sales on the Billboard music charts which are released weekly. Billboard uses SoundScan information to produce their list.

Consumers control the outcome of the Nielsen SoundScan because the tracking is recorded by music products sold in retail stores and online. SoundScan works just like the Nielsen television ratings. A group or association doesn’t control what shows are ranked as a number one hit. The more viewers that are tuned into a show make that particular show the hit that it is. The same is for CDs. It is a number recorded of total products sold.

SoundScan has a big influence on how Billboard ranks the artists on their list. SoundScan tracks the total number of CDs sold, and then Billboard uses that number in addition to radio and download time to determine who will be ranked number one.

Artists’ CDs are also rated by their production company. For example, it is a huge honor for a CD to be considered platinum. A platinum rating means that a song, from a CD, has sold one million copies. A platinum CD is based on a sales number. Nielsen SoundScan tracks the number sold. Again, these numbers are reflected on the consumer and what CDs we are purchasing or downloading.

Without an artist’s fan base, their success would go unnoticed. Consumers are what drive the hits we see on the Billboard top lists. Bands make it to the top because we buy their music and support their careers.

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

The Best of 80s Hair Metal Bands

Who could forget the metal bands from the 80s and early 90s with that big hair? The hair style alone made a stand out fashion statement. The music was big, flashy, and glamorous just like the hair of the band members. This particular type of heavy metal was very popular in California near the Los Angeles and Sunset Strip areas. The music is characterized by long solo guitar rifts also called shred guitar and hard rock with a mix of pop.

Hair metals bands not only made great music, they made an impact on our culture by introducing a new way of life. Band members weren’t happy with sitting around, hanging out, and producing hits. They had to party as if tomorrow would never come and dress to the nines with big teased hair, makeup, and over accessorizing. Their late night parties were infamous, and you could also read about a band member creating some scandal in a tabloid magazine.

If you aren’t quite sure what bands are classified as hair metal bands, here is a small list that will explain or spark some memories from “the good old days.”

Guns N’ Roses consisted of band members Axl Rose, Dizzy Reed, Tommy Stinson, Chris Pitman, Richard Fortus, Ron Thal, Frank Ferrer, and DJ Ashba. Some of their hits include songs such as: Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Child O’ Mine, and Paradise City.

David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen, Wolfgang Van Halen, and Alex Van Halen make up the band known as Van Halen which originated out of Pasadena, California. You could party all night like the rock stars listening to their hits songs like: Dance the Night Away, Can’t Stop Loving You, and Runnin’ With the Devil.

Another band originating out of Los Angeles in the 80s was Quiet Riot. They have gone through many band members, but the original formation was Kevin DuBrow, Randy Rhoads, Kelly Garni, and Drew Forsyth. They are best known for their hit Cum On Feel the Noise. Other hits by Quiet Riot include: Metal Health, Party All Night, and Callin’ the Shots.

Motley Crue is the quintessential 80s hair metal band. They partied harder than any other band and were always in some type of trouble. The band consisted of members Nikki Sox, Mick Mars, Vince Neil, and Tommy Lee. Too Fast for Love, Girls Girls Girls, and Dr. Feelgood were all hit songs by the band.

All of the bands listed above have a few things in common, and the most important being that they are metal hair bands. All the bands partied hard, had numerous tattoos, teased their hair to make it big, had run ins with the law, and originated from California. Some other famous 80s hair metal bands are: Savatage, Twisted Sister, Cinderella, Slaughter, Poison, Whitesnake, and Kiss. You don’t have to time travel back to the 80s to hear some of your favorite songs. You can find Internet Radio websites that have 80s channels that will play some of the hits from these great bands listed.

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Rock and Rolls Origin and Name

The term ‘rock and roll’ is now so familiar to us that few ask where it got its origins and how the name came about. While there are many theories on the beginnings of rock and roll, many agree it was dubbed this name after World War II. The sound, was then born from a fusion of rhythm and blues along with influences from the African American culture as well as from America’s country music and gospel music scenes. Some say rock and roll dates back further in country records of the 1930s, blues records of the 1920s even though it was never labeled as such.

Despite the uncertainty of the timeline of rock and rolls true beginnings, it is believed that the sound did originate in the south due to a conglomeration of different music traditions from the region. From there, it grew due to the migration of many freed slaves and their descendants to major urban centers like Memphis and north to New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland and Buffalo. In these cities, black and white residents were living in close proximity of one another and as a result began emulating one another’s style.

In the 1930s jazz and swing were among the first types of music to present African American sounds for a predominately white audience. This was followed in the 40s by horns, saxophones, shouted lyrics and boogie-woogie beats. During and immediately after World War II, with shortages of fuel and limitations on audiences, large jazz bands were less economical and tended to be replaced by smaller combos, using guitars, bass and drums. This was followed by the development of “jump blues” with its guitar riffs and prominent beats.

Rock and roll continued to evolve for many reasons, one being technology. With the development of the electric guitar, amplifier and microphone, came huge changes in the sound and industry.

Subgenres of ‘rock and roll’ also came out of the changes in the music style. Fusion sounds such as folk with rock coined the term ‘folk-rock’ In the 1970s, rock also included soft rock, glam rock, heavy metal, hard rock, progressive rock, and punk rock. In the 1980s there was New Wave, hardcore punk and alternative rock.

As far as the term “rock and roll”, this may have stemmed either from sexual or spiritual connotations. “Rocking” was a term used by black gospel singers in the American South to mean something akin to spiritual rapture. In 1916 “The Camp Meeting Jubilee,” recorded a song whose lyrics include “We’ve been rocking and rolling in your arms / Rocking and rolling in your arms / In the arms of Moses.” And yet, in 1937, Chick Webb and Ella Fitzgerald recorded “Rock It for Me”, which included the lyric, “So won’t you satisfy my soul with the rock and roll”. At the time, the term ‘roll’ meant having sex. Others say the term rock and roll have nothing to do with sex or being spiritually moved but by the motion of a ship at sea or a train in motion. Nobody knows for certain how the term came about or what it meant as it was quite possible it could have meant all of the above.

More important than the terminology or exact origins of rock and roll, this genre of music is known for its social effects, which were worldwide and on a grand scale. Some believe with the combination of sounds from so many cultures came the greater push for the civil rights movement due to the fact both African American teens and white American teens enjoyed the music. Later, rock and roll was thought to have been the emphasis behind the hippy movement, peace not war as well as the drug culture.

As ambiguous as rock and roll’s beginnings is its effects socially on cultures. Either way, people all over the world are enjoying its sound, whatever it may get called and whatever subgenre may get assigned to it.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Oldies Hits from the Beatles

The oldies are classified as music from the time period of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Most oldies music is classified under the genres of pop, rock and R&B. There were a lot of progressive musical movements including Motown, the British Invasion, and doo wop which inspired fashion styles, community, and a way of life.

An oldies band that never went out of style was the Beatles. Their music has inspired the world for years and started the hype with the British Invasion. The British Invasion was a group of bands from Great Britain whose music became popular in the United States. Just recently, Rock Band video game came out with a Beatles edition. Rock band allows users to act as if they are in the band and play music on game controls such as a guitar, bass guitar, or drum set. The Beatles edition for rock band is a compilation all of their greatest hits.

The Beatles fame lasted for a span of ten years from the 1960s until the 1970s. The band originated in Liverpool and consisted of members John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison. They were dubbed with the nickname, “The fab four from Liverpool.” Not only were they a success in England, but their fame and fortune reached the United States. The RIAA, Recording Industry Association of America, states that they have sold more albums than any other band or solo artist in the United States (www.riaa.com). The Beatles produced number ones hits that are still popular today and can be heard on Internet Radio and traditional radio.

From 1962 until 1976 they had 42 number one hit singles. A list of all the number one singles can be found on The Beatles Number One Hits singles website (www.bopped.com). Their first hit in 1962 was called, “Love Me Do.” This song first became popular in England and didn’t top the number one charts in the United States until 1964.

In 1963, they had 5 chart topping hits. One of the more memorable hits during that year was “Twist and Shout.” Not only was it a great song, but there were also fun dance moves to accompany it. They almost doubled the amounts of number one hit singles in 1964 with nine songs. A memorable song during that year which most people know and can hear on oldies radio station is “A Hard Day’s Night.”

They continued to dominate the charts with eight singles in 1965. After that the amount of singles started to taper off. Between 1966 and 1969 they only produced four number one hits per year. Success for the Beatles started to slow down in the 70s when they only had two hits in 1970 and one in 1976.

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

What is Smooth Jazz

Smooth jazz may have many derivatives but in general it gets its name due to its down tempo. This along with a layering lead that includes a melody-playing instrument, which typically consists of saxophones or guitars, over a backdrop such as programmed rhythms and various pads and/or samples. While this simply sounds like elevator music, smooth jazz also contains formats that have vocals and tracks from the work of artists like Simply Red or Luther Vandross, who are normally considered “soul” or “R&B”.

What differentiates smooth jazz from soul is that the music must be mellow and soft. Professionals state that there should be no disturbances on the surface, no undercurrents, nothing challenging or obtrusive in the sound. Smooth jazz stemmed out of a decision to use music to create an instrumental based format that would take the place of music of the 70s and early 80s, which had provided background music for office and business environments.

Smooth jazz was brought to the forefront of the music industry by soprano saxophone players like Grover Washington, Jr., Wayne Shorter and Nathan Davis. Wes Montgomery and Grant Green influenced the industry as well with a mellow flavor of electric guitar. Jazz-fusion ensembles such as Spyro Gyra and Bob James’ Fourplay were important in the development of the genre as well.

Most can recognize groups identified as smooth jazz within a few measures as there is a melodic tempo to its sound. Popular smooth jazz artists of today include saxophonists Kenny G, David Sanborn and Art Porter, Jr.; guitarists George Benson, Marc Antoine, and Peter White; and pianists Joe Sample, David Benoit, and Bradley Joseph. As for groups, these include; Fourplay, Pieces of a Dream, Acoustic Alchemy, and The Rippingtons. On the female performers side there is Keiko Matsui, Joyce Cooling, Mindi Abair, Candy Dulfer, Sade, Brenda Russell, Pamela Williams, Regina Belle, and Anita Baker.

Smooth jazz remained successful until 2007 when it began to show signs of waning. Music industry insiders felt smooth jazz was dying out and began pulling out of the genre. However, those in the industry say that smooth jazz concerts and record sales continue to show strong fan support.

Despite the commercial decline in the popularity of smooth jazz, many prominent stations around the United States are still playing it. Why has the popularity of smooth jazz faded? Many say it is due to a handful of factors that include a lack of compelling new music, over-reliance on instrumental cover versions of pop songs similar to the old fashioned ‘elevator music’ style, lack of revenue and the genre not being viable during the current economic crisis. Many purists of the format also feel that the smooth jazz interpretation has strayed too far from its roots in contemporary jazz and new age music by over-relying on soft urban vocals

Will smooth jazz have a place in the future? It could all depend on how creative the artists become and basically, where people’s tastes lie as time goes by.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Music and the Effects on your Mood

Upbeats, rhythms, melodies, tones, and beats all make up a musical composition. Is the song you are listening to slow, fast, a ballad, a rock song, sad, happy, romantic? Music is a form of expression, and artists often times express their feelings through song. They write songs when they are happy, sad, angry, and even when they are in love. Listening to the different types of songs can affect your mood.

If you are sad, you should listen to happy upbeat music to turn your mood around. If you are angry and need an outlet to release your feelings, you can listen to rock music with fast tempos and loud guitar playing. You can set the mood for a romantic evening with the one you love by playing soft ballads or love songs. Music can be a distraction to take your mind off of pressing issues or simply to entertain.

Music in its most simple form is to entertain. It is played for fun at parties, school dances, sporting events, at home, or while driving in your car. People listen to music in their cars while commuting to work to pass their time more enjoyably. It would be so boring to sit in a car for thirty minutes in complete silence. With the radio on, you can jam out to your favorite tunes or engage in a talk show. People listen to music while they need to pass time while at work or cleaning their house for example. It is a way to entertain them.

Music can set the tone for your day or night. When you wake up in the morning, listen to something upbeat to get your day going. It can put you in a better mood by listening to fun, happy music. Because music affects your mood, if you were to listen to slow songs in the mornings you might find it harder to wake up or be motivated to start the day. At night, when you are winding down or have had a stressful day at work or school, listen to music that will calm you. Slower beats, acoustic, or classical music can be very calming.

While planning a romantic dinner or evening at home with your loved one, you should play love songs or ballads. You can find an Internet Radio station that will have fewer commercials than on a traditional radio that won’t interrupt the flow of music or the mood you are trying to create. Listening to love music can spark emotions and have the ability to make you feel more connected to someone. Listening to love songs is a shared experience, and when you hear a particular love song you will think of the person you were with.

Listening to different types of music can affect your mood. If you listen to upbeat music you could feel happier and more energetic. While on the other hand, listening to slow music can make you feel sad or relaxed. Choose the right music that will affect the mood you want to be in.

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

 
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  • About the Author:
    Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile.

    For more information please visit 977music.com.
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