This was an offer I sent to someone who said they could bring 300 people. So if they weren’t exaggerating, they would get the full guarantee, but this way I also protected myself if they were misrepresenting themselves.

It’s often the case that in concert and in these symphonic works designed to highlight the theremin, we’re really able to hear its full range and expressive potential. So we’ve picked out five pieces from modern 20th century composers (some of which were written to accompany film) that have helped define the use of this instrument in a variety of capacities.

So whether you’re a musician eager to get some demos recorded at home, a producer looking to make better use of your personal space, or a fully committed DIY home recordist, we definitely have an online course for you. But which one is the right one? Let’s explore the options!

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The body art style is itself distinctive, and helps to convey the melancholic yet hopeful vibe of the song. This reflects on Gotye’s authentic lyricism as he is stripped away of his clothes, but it also makes a slightly less playful reference to the style of Peter Gabriel’s video for “Sledgehammer.”

Sitting up in your chair, hold the djembe between your legs, angled behind them and underneath your chair. Your hands should be held out flat, parallel to the ground, with thumbs angled up to the ceiling a bit so they’re elevated from the rest of your hand.

A lot of the time, the student has no particular goal beyond “do this assignment.” So then the critique needs to get creative. I like to ask: If this track is a film or game score, what’s happening in the scene? Students have a lot of implicit knowledge in this area from their own media consumption, so I get wonderfully specific and unexpected answers to this, i.e., “It’s a bar fight in a domed underwater city.” Then we can figure out, how could the track more strongly convey the feeling of a bar fight in a domed underwater city?

This form is super common in classics and jazz standards. You start with a section, repeat it, move on to something else, and come back to that first idea again. Most recordings of standards like Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” use this form, sometimes featuring additional repetition to extend the song. Two other famous examples are “All I Have to Do Is Dream” by The Everly Brothers and “Yesterday” by The Beatles.

Soundfly welcomes new voices each month to offer unique perspectives, shine a light on unexpected musical worlds, and help our readers find their sound.

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When you compose, do you gravitate toward certain instruments? And how much of the composition is being orchestrated in your inner ear and how much of it are you playing while you write?

Songtrust can help. Register for Songtrust, and use promo code STSoundfly for 10% off! If your music is already on Spotify, go ahead and estimate your earnings here. 

This technique is so common in dance tracks that it’s almost a cliché that cannot be avoided. If you frequent raves, dance clubs, or electronic music festivals, you’re probably used to hearing claps, snares, toms, or kicks that start with quarter note hits, then speed up to eighth notes, and then finally reach for sixteenth and thirty-second notes as you get closer to the drop.

If two signals that are mirror-images of one another are combined, they attenuate each other. This is often called “phase cancellation” (which in truth is a bit imprecise, but will do for now). You can demonstrate this cancellation easily in your DAW by bringing up two identical tracks and then flipping the phase of one by hitting the polarity switch, usually rendered with a symbol resembling “Ø.”

You can see why turntablists like scratching “ahhhh” and “fressssshhhh” so much — they’re structureless slabs of tuned white noise, so they’re more forgiving. Scratching a rap a cappella is another story. The words have meanings, and the pitches have a musical context. When a word falls in the wrong spot or with the wrong emphasis, it sounds much worse than a wrong note in a jazz solo, and an untrained listener is more likely to notice it.