Musical Characteristics of Club Dance – a revision exercise

Look at the list below and cross reference it with the club dance playlists given for this special focus style in previous blog posts here. Can you recognise each musical feature in the list? Are you aware of the equipment mentioned and how it has been used in the genre?


Roland Tr- 909, TR 808.

Roland TB-303 Bass synth, SH-101 Bass synth

Akai Samplers


Tempo? What are typical tempos in each sub genre, eg. House, Drum ‘n’ Bass, Big Beat?

Four on the Floor

Snares and claps

Open hi hats on 2 and 4

Percussion loops

Breakdowns – dropping down to just hats or kick and building back with crescendo on cymbals or snare






Instrumentation and Musical Devices

Simple chord sequences or static harmony

Synth bass

Pads and strings

Piano and house organ riffs

Vocal samples

Vocal effects

Repeated vocal refrains


Drum and Bass Revision

Here is a short document to aid your revision on Drum’n’Bass. Please spread the word so everyone in the class knows it’s here.

Please take a listen to all the references – the info will stick much better if you have actually heard the music.

Club Dance History – House Music

This was first posted on 12.1.12. Hope you all read the house music history.

Read the background info below carefully and download it as a revision document. Listen carefully to some House music and try to make the connection with some of the musical characteristics of disco.

After checking out some of the house tracks in the spotify playlist we blogged last week, create a typical house beat in Logic.

For a heads up on the sound of House check out the videos below. The 909 video is NOT a standard house beat, but you’ll recognise those classic sounds.

Club Dance Revision Documents

Here are the links to the documents you have all created for revision:

Daft Punk and Eric Prydz

Fat Boy Slim

The Prodigy

Bomb the Bass


Groove Armada

Roni Size, Goldie


Below are the excellent presentations on The Prodigy and Groove Armada created by Theo and Josh, and on Roni Size and Goldie created by Laurence and Niall. If you find these useful then return the favour and create one on the artist you’ve researched and we’ll put it on the blog.

AS Unit 2 Revision and Research

Special focus style research

Students to work in pairs to compile club dance google docs including links to youtube for relevant audio/video content. These must then be shared with me so I can share them with the rest of the class.

Use the research documents on the blog to give you an idea of what everyone needs to know about each artist. Try to include a picture or graphic of some kind. When making reference to particular releases give the year of release. Try to research beyond the given artist by making reference to other acts in the same style who were around at the same time, who influenced by the artist you’re researching or were influenced by them.

  • M.A.R.R.S – Joe P.
  • Leftfield – Eddy
  • Fat Boy Slim and Chemical Brothers – Tom and Katie
  • Groove Armada and Prodigy – Theo and Josh
  • Roni Size and Goldie – Niall and Lawrence
  • Bomb Da Bass – Joe D.
  • Daft Punk and Erik Prydz – Tessa and Jason

Unit 2 research

Guitar effects and playing techniques: Give a demonstration of your allocated effect or technique using a guitar and Logic’s plug-ins and/or find two examples of the technique in a song.

Joe P, Eddy, Joe D. – Tremolo, Distortion, Dive Bomb, Tapping

Lawrence and Niall – Wah wah, Whammy bar, Vibrato, Sixteenth note funk rhythm guitar.

Josh and Theo – Flange and phaser, Trill

Katie and Tom – Chorus, Hammer-ons and pull-offs

Jason and Tessa – Harmoniser, Pitch shifter, Power chords,