From Four Tracks to Break Beats: Music and Technology

Suggested Grade Level: 5-8 / 9-12

Since the 1950s, rock and roll has been shaped by the craft and artistry of songwriters and performers who use innovative music technology to significantly impact the sound of music.  In this class, we will see how Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees have used technology to record, manipulate and create the ever-changing sounds of popular music.  Students take part in in-depth discussions of the earliest tape recorders used by Sam Phillips at Sun Records and the hip-hop beats used by MC Roxanne Shanté.  This class includes several live demonstrations in which students analyze the impact of music technology on a given sound.  Don’t miss this chance to gain insight into the world of music production in a variety of styles – from rock to hip-hop. 

Related Standards:  Science, Fine Arts-Music, Technology

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Videos are offered as supplemental content to classes.

Director of Curatorial Affairs Howard Kramer talks about the development and use of the tape machine in rock and roll. 

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Selected Song List

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Class Resources

This class will explore recording technology used by the Beatles, for example.

Registering for this Class

Complete this form online using the link below, or download and complete the appropriate registration form (listed below) and fax it back to 216.515.1995. A group sales representative will contact you to confirm a date. If a representative does not contact you within 5 business days, please call the Group Sales Department at 216.515.1228.

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      Wonderful presentation. Just short/long enough to keep a 6th grader’s attention. Getting to explore the museum one hour before was just enough time as well!
      - Carole Narducci, Walton