Turntable Facts

Turntable Facts
The turntable is a musical device that plays records. It is an ancestor of the phonograph invented in 1877 for the recording and playing back of sound (after having been recorded). The phonograph later became the gramophone, and then the record player. It was known as a record player since the 1940s until it became known as a turntable in more recent years, especially as it became a device to play records creatively. When the turntable is combined with a DJ workstation or setup it is also referred to as a deck. A turntable is meant to play a vinyl record that has recorded music or sound.
Interesting Turntable Facts:
The term 'phonograph' is derived from Greek words meaning 'voice writing'. Gramophone also has similar meanings.
Brand names used for early turntables/record players were Phonograph, Gramophone, Zonophone, and Graphophone, as well as 'talking machine'.
While the phonograph could record and play sound, the turntable is only able to play sound.
When the turntable is used as a musical instrument this is referred to as turntablism. This term refers to manipulating sound to create music with a DJ mixer and turntable.
A musician that uses a turntable to create music is called a turntablist. This term was coined by DJ Dick in the early 1990s.
Some of the techniques used by turntablists include scratching, beat juggling, and beat matching and beat mixing.
Using the turntable to create music from previously recorded records emerged in the 1930s as experimental music and sound. Early composers in this genre included Halim El-Dabh, Pierre Schaeffer, John Cage, and Edgard Varese.
Creedence Clearwater Revival included turntable effects in their song 'Walk on the Water' in 1968.
In the 1970s hip hop music began to make use of the turntable as an instrument quite frequently.
Hip hop DJing became popular again in the 1990s and the term turntablist caught on.
Turntablism is considered to be an art form today that originated in the late 1970s with hip hop culture.
Musicians that were instrumental in establishing DJ mixing as an art form in the music industry include Grandmaster Flash, Kool DJ Herc, and Afrika Bamnaataa.
One of Grandmaster Flash's apprentices named Grand Wizzard Theordore created the most commonly recognized turntablism technique - scratching. He did it by accident one day when he tried to silence the music to listen to his mother. Flash pushed the concept into mainstream.
There have been several documentaries showcasing the history of turntablism including Scratch and Battlesounds.
In the 1990s the art of turntablism became more advanced as new techniques emerged. New scratching techniques became common such as orbiting, crabbing, chirping, stabbing, tearing, and flaring. Scratch drumming and beat juggling evolved a lot in the 1990s as well.
A form of turntablism that uses software called vinyl emulation software instead of records emerged in the 1990s in the US called 'chopped and screwed'.
Some turntablists today are using images, videos, and effects along with sound. This is referred to as 'visual turntablism' and is gaining popularity for live performances.


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