For all these reasons, we’re super happy to be able to experience musical life in Africa through the work of a handful of amazing nonprofit organizations, learning communities, and platforms for creative expression, and we believe that the future of global popular music is already being shaped on the African continent as we speak. Here are six initiatives in Africa today doing constructive work for the future of music and music education.
Making any sort of impact through music requires an insane amount of work, as well as dedication, commitment, and inward-looking. From learning an instrument and writing songs to recording albums, booking shows, and embarking on tours, nothing good in music ever happens without a work ethic. Sure, there are times when inspiration for a song appears out of nowhere without effort or planning, but most momentum in music is generated by tedious non-musical work: writing emails, sticking to a regular rehearsal schedule, setting time aside each day to write music and play your instrument.
The smooth groovy vibes of Yacht Rock await. Learn how songs by Steely Dan, Toto, and the Doobie Brothers function to use their ideas in your own songs!
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Hold onto your hats! This work by Turkish composer and pianist Fazil Say is no easy listen. It’s unique, original, texturally dense, and features some heavy theremin! Wrestling with the following four questions, the piece’s inspiration is far from light-hearted: 1) What was there before the Big Bang — space, clouds of dust? 2) The universe is expanding, but in what direction and towards what? 3) Are there other lives in the universe and throughout the galaxies? 4) Is there a God?
Roland developed the RE-201 in the early 1970s, and while this wasn’t the first tape echo, they made something much more durable and sonically satisfying than anything that had come before it. Starting in the 1950s, musicians started to use small devices that included a recorder and a single tape loop capable of simultaneously recording and playing sound. This would create a delay effect.
Before your audience hears a single one of your notes, they’ll make a series of judgements about you based on your optics. From album covers to the typeface used in your tracklist, and from your band photos to what you wear on stage, people can’t help making certain assumptions about your band when they first discover you (and likely continue discovering you).
These classic music videos feature thought-provoking concepts and communicate the message of their song perfectly, in ways that we can borrow ourselves.