Old School Turntablism

Posted On: November 24, 2005
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Hip-hop turntablism can be traced to the 1970s, if not earlier. DJ Grand Mixer DXT is credited with inventing turntablism(though other sources credit Grand Wizard Theodore), the rhythmic scratching of a record on a turntable, then using different velocities to alter the pitch of the note or sound on the recording, making the turntable a fully performable and improvisational instrument (Alberts 2002).

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One of the earliest academic studies of the turntable (White 1996) argued for its designation as a legitimate electronic musical instrument — a manual analog sampler — and described turntable techniques such as backspinning, cutting, scratching and blending as basic to the repertoire of the virtuoso hip hop DJ. White demonstrated that the proficient hip hop DJ must possess many of the same skills required by trained musicians, including a keen sense of timing, sharply-developed hand-eye coordination, technical competence and creativity with his material.

New DJs/turntablists/crews like Roc Raida, Q-Bert, Gunkhole, A-Trak, Noisy Stylus, D-Styles,, Birdy Nam Nam and Kid Koala owe a distinct debt to Old School DJ’s like DJ Kool Herc, Grand Wizard Theodore, Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa and DJs of the “Golden Era of Hip-Hop�?, who originally developed many of the concepts and techniques that evolved into modern turntablism.

Source: Wikipedia