Presentation Type

Performance

Keywords

Gender, music, sound, feminist media studies, electronic music, audio production, gender study, women in electronic music

Department

Music

Major

Media Production with a Music Concentration

Abstract

A Feminist History of the Roland MC-505

Abstract

Roland’s MC 505 is a small portable music production instrument also known as agroovebox that functions as a programmable sixty-four note polyphonic synthesizer and drummachine with twenty-six interchangeable drum kits to use in various combinations. (1) The groovebox is equipped for both audio recording and live performance, both of which are analyzed in this research. The machine has many innovative elements that have carried over into modern music technology as well as some limitations that have since been left behind. This study acts as a historical evaluation of the growth and improvements of technologies in electronic music production, predominantly through a feministic lens. The necessity of this lens is ascribed to the fact that male creators are consistently placed on a pedestal while female and non-binary artists are starved for the spotlight despite many instances where they have blazed the trail that many male artists walk. In the case of the MC-505, its popularity as a production and performance instrument can be attributed to many female and gender-bending creators using the instrument during the height of the hip hop and post-grunge music eras. The study focuses on non-male artists who have developed a specific sound and brand utilizing the machine.

1 Madden, David, PhD. “The Groovebox's Hidden History.” Gender AYURI, 5 Aug. 2020, pp. 1.

Faculty Mentor

David Madden

Funding Source or Research Program

Academic Year Undergraduate Research Initiative

Presentation Session

Session C

Start Date

23-4-2021 4:30 PM

End Date

23-4-2021 4:45 PM

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Apr 23rd, 4:30 PM Apr 23rd, 4:45 PM

A Feminist History of the Roland MC-505

A Feminist History of the Roland MC-505

Abstract

Roland’s MC 505 is a small portable music production instrument also known as agroovebox that functions as a programmable sixty-four note polyphonic synthesizer and drummachine with twenty-six interchangeable drum kits to use in various combinations. (1) The groovebox is equipped for both audio recording and live performance, both of which are analyzed in this research. The machine has many innovative elements that have carried over into modern music technology as well as some limitations that have since been left behind. This study acts as a historical evaluation of the growth and improvements of technologies in electronic music production, predominantly through a feministic lens. The necessity of this lens is ascribed to the fact that male creators are consistently placed on a pedestal while female and non-binary artists are starved for the spotlight despite many instances where they have blazed the trail that many male artists walk. In the case of the MC-505, its popularity as a production and performance instrument can be attributed to many female and gender-bending creators using the instrument during the height of the hip hop and post-grunge music eras. The study focuses on non-male artists who have developed a specific sound and brand utilizing the machine.

1 Madden, David, PhD. “The Groovebox's Hidden History.” Gender AYURI, 5 Aug. 2020, pp. 1.