Timbre and ’80s Pop with Megan Lavengood

Episode 103 of Sound Expertise

What makes some songs, from Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” to Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” sound so distinctively “1980s”? What is timbre, why does it matter, and how do music theorists study it? And did Michael Jackson write the music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3?! A conversation with Megan Lavengood, Assistant Professor and Director of Music Theory at George Mason University, about timbre and the Yamaha DX7 synthesizer.

If you’re interested in learning more about Prof Lavengood’s work, follow her on Twitter as @meganlavengood and check out:

Sound Expertise is hosted by Will Robin (@seatedovation), and produced by D. Edward Davis (@warmsilence). Please subscribe via Apple PodcastsStitcher, and/or Spotify. Questions or comments? Email williamlrobin@ gmail

A written transcript of this episode is available here; many, many thanks to Andrew Dell’Antonio for volunteering to prepare transcripts for the show!

Stay tuned for Episode 104, coming next Tuesday, August 11: an interview with Alex Ross about all things Wagnerism!!!