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Music Television, or MTV, came out with a bang (a rocket ship taking off and the words, “This is rock and roll”). Never before was there a 24-hour music channel, and the music that has shaped us may not have so severely affected popular culture at large if it weren’t for the invention of such a thing.

It wasn’t long before I realized that, if I’m being very honest, all of these playlists are more or less the same. They’re all full of instrumental music (probably because they’re trying to be “calming”) and while the songs aren’t necessarily the same, to the untrained pup ear, they might as well be. There’s not a lot of variation, and if I were a dog, I’d get pretty bored with this mix too. Which might be the point — to just put your pup in a state of relaxation so they can drift off to dreamland.

I’m hardly the first person to want to hear how Bach sounds over a groove from the African diaspora. Django Reinhardt recorded a similar idea back in 1937.

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This vinyl-related project couldn’t be more different from the one above. Until recently, Jesu Berkeley was just a talented dad. Now, he’s an educator and community activist with a dream to provide a creative space for students and at-risk youth to learn about DJing, turntablism, and scratchology!

The sign of a thriving music city is one that the residents are excited to be a part of it. This is the case with Asheville — musicians and fans there not only feel excited and lucky to call Asheville their home, but they are genuinely thriving there

For all these reasons, we’re super happy to be able to experience musical life in Africa through the work of a handful of amazing nonprofit organizations, learning communities, and platforms for creative expression, and we believe that the future of global popular music is already being shaped on the African continent as we speak. Here are six initiatives in Africa today doing constructive work for the future of music and music education.

The Dorian mode is commonly used to solo over minor 7th chords, applicable to the ubiquitous II–7  V7  I progression, and a creative substitute, or expansion, of the minor pentatonic scale used in blues and rock. (This article assumes a basic understanding of the theoretical fundamentals of scale modes. To brush up on your knowledge of scale types and modes, you can always join Soundfly’s free online course, Theory for Producers.)

Explore Soundfly’s wide array of free online courses and expand your musical skills over your lunch break! Here’s just a few free courses you can choose from: How to Create a Killer Musician Website, Touring on a Shoestring, Music Theory for Bedroom Producers, and How to Get All the Royalties You Never Knew Existed. 

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Outside of the basic major (Ionian) and minor (Aeolian) scale modes, the Dorian mode would be considered by many to be the most important diatonic mode in any improviser’s toolkit.

The ability to move up and down the neck of a guitar and understand what your available notes are in any given fret, is something that many guitarists struggle with well into their careers. It takes an effort to commit oneself to learning where all of the notes are and the patterns they create, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult to pick up this skill.

Soundfly course producer John Hull walks us through how he creates a Slice to MIDI preset in Ableton Live so you can build your own customized version.

This isn’t to say that we only like songs because our brains are lazy. It has to do with how our brains process new information as it fits into a given context, in this case, how melodic notes fit into a key.

Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placement on Alternative Press, Spotify, Noisey, Substream, and more, as well as the Director of Community and Events for Music Launch Co. Her free training ‘Reaching a Wider Audience Without Spending A Dime’ helps emerging artists cut through the noise and get in front of fans and industry influencers in just a few steps. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.