In the 1980s, music was dramatically changed by the introduction of MTV (Music Television). This meant that music videos became more and more necessary for artists to gain popularity (especially with the youth) and sell records. Greater importance was placed on the appearance of musicians, and gimmicks became commonplace. A subgenre of new wave music, Synth-pop, was utterly unique to the 1980s, as the synthesizer had become more and more sophisticated, and with that, there were new musical possibilities.
At home, you can create your own Synth Pop hit using the online synthesizer!
Learn new vocabulary: Synthesizer, Gimmick, Sophisticated
Tool Kit: A phone or laptop
Step 1: To understand the genre of synth Pop, I will provide several examples that include heavy synths in various ways.
Step 2: How are the synthesizers used in the music? What different tones can you hear in the various songs? Keep in mind that the synthesizer is one instrument, but can sound like many different things. What do you find to be the most common sound for synth-pop?
Step 3: Using the link provided here, play around with the online synthesizer and try out different sounds. If you are musically inclined, try and create a few chords or a song with the synth. If not, then try and make the weirdest and wackiest sound possible.
Group Activity: Show off your cool Synth Pop song to your friends and family. If you didn’t make a song, show off your strange and wacky sounds. What do they think? Have they heard that kind of sound before? What do they think could be stranger?
Extend Your Journey: Using the provided link here, explore other synthesizers and the sounds they make. Are there any you prefer more? If you’d like, try and make a song from the other synthesizers.