New Music Monday

    New Music Monday: Pungi [Instrument]

    Pungi [Instrument]

    The pungi, also known as the bin, is a wind instrument that originated from India and is typically played by snake charmers. It is about one to two feet in length and made from a dry bottle-gourd. It consists of two reeds or bamboo tubes known as Jivala. One is used for melody while the other is used for drones. The pungi is played with no pauses and requires circular breathing to produce a continuous tone. It was originally developed as an Indian folk music instrument, and is still important for religious purposes and music in India today.

    Continue Reading »

    New Music Monday: Indie Electronic [Genre]

    Indie Electronic [Genre]

    Indie electronic, or sometimes referred to as indietronica, began in the early ‘90s with mostly rock-rooted artists influenced by early electronic composers, Krautrock, synth pop and dance music. As the new millennium approached, the number of indie electronic artists grew exponentially, as new technology developed and home recording became more accessible. Instruments typically include drum machines, electronic keyboards, synthesizers, samplers, vocals, midi controllers and sometimes guitars.

    Continue Reading »

    New Music Monday: Theremin [Instrument]

    Theremin [Instrument]

    The theremin, formerly known as the termenvox/thereminvox, was invented in 1919 by Léon Theremin (Lev Termen) who also patented it in 1928. The instrument is played without being touched and consists of two antennas-one that controls volume as the other controls pitch. The instrument is most commonly heard in early thriller and sci-fi films from the 40s, 50s and 60s. Theremins can also be heard in avant-garde concert music, as well as psychedelic rock.

    Continue Reading »

    New Music Monday: Jazz Lounge [Genre]

    Jazz Lounge

    Jazz lounge was most popular throughout the 1950s and 1960s and continued to play on popular radio until around the 1980s. The genre consists of creating a certain mood or environment for listeners, with less emphasis on performers. Typically, it is lumped with similar genres such as mood music, easy listening, ambient music, light music, Muzak and elevator music. It’s instruments usually include keyboards and a light backing band. Sometimes a jazz combo/band will be included along with vocals. This genre is usually heard in hotel lounges and bars, casinos and piano bars.

    Continue Reading »

    New Music Monday: Afro Pop [Genre]

    Afro Pop

    African popular music is similar to traditional music and is vast and varied. Most contemporary genres of African popular music build on a cross-pollination with Western popular music. It contains a more organic sound and less electronic elements than it’s Western counterparts. Instruments range but typically include vocals, African drums and instruments, hand drums and the acoustic guitar.

    Continue Reading »

    New Music Monday: Baroque [Genre]


    Baroque was the dominant style of music in the Western world from roughly 1600-1750. This genre created the concept of tonality and system of music theory that we still use and study today. The main characteristic that separates Baroque music from the other Classical genres is its ornamentation. Baroque music is very complex with constantly changing and evolving melodies as well as multiple layers of independent musical lines. The most common and famous musical form in Baroque music is the fugue. Fugues are instrumental pieces, typically played for organ or harpsichord, with 2-5 melodic lines that are played simultaneously.

    Continue Reading »

    New Music Monday: Mariachi [Genre]


    A style of music formed and originated in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. The genre consists mostly of stringed instruments due to cultural impacts in Western Mexico’s history. Despite this, throughout history, musicians have experimented with brass, wind and percussion instruments. Instrumentation typically includes violins, trumpets, classical guitars, a vihuela (a high pitched, five-stringed guitar, which is similar to a ukulele) and on occasion, a harp. A complete mariachi group contains as many as eight violins, two trumpets and a guitar. Although mariachi bands play events like weddings, formal occasions like quinceañeras, they are often used to serenade women because many of the songs contain romantic lyrics.

    Continue Reading »

    New Music Monday: Cool Jazz [Genre]

    Cool Jazz

    Cool jazz is a style that originated in the U.S. in the late 1940’s. The genre is a contrast to the Bebop style that preceded it. Its main characteristics are focus on melody and relaxed tempo. Classical influence is common as well. Instrumentation can vary, but common instruments are trumpet, piano, upright bass, drums, saxophone, and even some of the more uncommon instruments for jazz like the french horn. Some of the most prominent cool jazz musicians included Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Dave Brubeck, Chet Baker, and Charles Mingus.

    Continue Reading »

    New Music Monday: Post Rock [Genre]

    Post Rock

    Post Rock is a subgenre of rock that is characterized by its highly atmospheric and experimental sound. The style originated in the 1970s but did not see any popularity until the 1990s with groups such as Tortoise, Sigur Ros and Stars of the Lid. The Post Rock sound has influence from a variety of other musical genres such as Electronic, Jazz, and Minimalism. Post Rock is very distinct from other rock genres because it uses the standard rock ensemble of guitars, bass, and drums to create rich textures and repetitive motifs instead of the melodies and chord structures that other genres feature. The style is commonly instrumental as well. The result is a rich and dreamy soundscape aesthetic that cannot be found in any other rock genre.

    Continue Reading »

    New Music Monday: Bandoneón [Instrument]

    Bandoneón [Instrument]

    The bandoneón is an instrument similar to the accordion and concertina. It originated in Germany in the mid-1800s with the original intent of being used for religious music, but became popular in folk traditions of countries such as France and Lithuania. During the 19th century European sailors brought the bandoneón along on trips to Argentina, where the instrument quickly gained popularity. It eventually became one of the central instruments for Tango music. The bandoneón is similar to an accordion in that sound is made by pushing and pulling the instrument, but it does not have piano-like keys like accordions do; it instead has special buttons on either side.

    Continue Reading »

    New Music Monday: Drumline


    A drumline, is a section in a marching ensemble comprised of only drums and percussions. Within this section, there are two groups that encompass the drumline-the battery and the pit. The battery is the marching section of the drumline. Members in the battery wear or carry their instruments which include bass drums, snare drums, tenor drums and cymbals. The pit section, also known as the front ensemble, is stationary and typically found at the front of most fields. Instruments commonly found in the pit include xylophones, marimbas, vibraphones, bells, timpani and various smaller percussion instruments.

    Continue Reading »

    New Music Monday: Classical Indian Music [Genre]

    Classical Indian Music

    Indian classical music dates as far back to the Vedas, the oldest scriptures in Hindu tradition. It is divided into Hindustani (northern part of India) and Canatic (southern part of India), and contains independent sets of ragas (India’s version of scales and modes). Hindustani is a more rhythmic and drone based music utilizing tablas, tambours, sitars and sarods. Juxtaposed to Carnatic’s emphasis on vocalists and melodic accompaniments that usually include violins, mridangam, drums and tambura drones.

    Continue Reading »

    New Music Monday: Gyspy Jazz [Genre]

    Gypsy Jazz

    Gypsy Jazz or “gypsy swing” is a style of music originated by Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grapelli during the 1930s in Paris, France. The style is a blending of chromatic gypsy flavor and swing jazz. It typically consist of all string instrumentations which include violins and nylon string guitars. Utilizing a swing guitar rhythm technique often referred to as “la pompe” (meaning “the pump” in French), the rhythm guitarist creates a percussive rhythm similar to a drummer. The genre was most popular in Europe during the 1930s to 1950s, but has since had a revival with modernized elements.

    Continue Reading »

    New Music Monday: Flamenco [Genre]


    Flamenco is a style of music that hold it’s roots in Spanish culture. Its origins date as far back as the 16th century and involve a synthesis of at least four cultures: Gypsies, Moors or Arabs, Jewish, and Andalusians. it is considered a tripartite art involving singing (Cante), dancing (Baile), and the guitar (Toque). Although at times all three elements may not be present, it’s distinct style of guitar-playing can usually recognized when heard. It’s percussions consist of rhythmic punctuation by hand claps, maracas and shakers.

    Continue Reading »

    New Music Monday: Cajun Zydeco [Genre]

    Cajun Zydeco

    The Zydeco genre originated in southwestern Louisiana in the 19th century. It is a combination of a variety of musical styles including traditional Creole music, American folk, Blues, as well as influences from Latin and Appalachian music. Generally Zydeco has an upbeat sound, as it usually is used as dance music. Common instruments include accordion, fiddle, washboard, and guitars. Over the years Zydeco has blended itself with other genres such as hip hop, rock, R&B and Latin/Afro-Caribbean styles.

    Continue Reading »

    New Music Monday: Música Popular Brasileira (MBP) [Genre]

    Música Popular Brasileira (MBP)

    MBP or Música Popular Brasileira, is the traditional popular music of Brazil. The genre utilizes traditional Brazilian music (bossa nova, samba-canção, samba) and combines it with rock, pop, folk, electronic and jazz elements. MBP carries a distinct Brazilian sensibility with themes reflecting the frustration, struggles and triumphs of Brazilian people.

    Continue Reading »

    New Music Monday: Chiptune / 8-Bit [Genre]

    Chiptune / 8-Bit

    Chiptune, also called chip music or 8-bit music, is electronic music produced utilizing basic synthesized waveforms, percussions and white noise. These sounds are used to emulate vintage computers, video game consoles and arcade machines.

    Continue Reading »