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:
- Her article “What Makes It Sound ’80s?: The Yamaha DX7 Electric Piano Sound,” in the Journal of Popular Music Studies
- Her website, which includes links to writing, videos, and more
- A 12tone video that features her research on timbre and the ’80s
Sound Expertise is hosted by Will Robin (@seatedovation), and produced by D. Edward Davis (@warmsilence). Please subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, 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!!!