For The Record: A History Of The DJ

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Taught by Chris Alker

Chris Alker, aka The Dance Machine/DJ By Night, is a New York based DJ, designer, party promoter and writer. Originally from Houston he moved to NYC in the winter of 2004 where he has tapped into the city's creative pulse in an effort to share his ideas, his writings and his cherished damaged-Disco record collection. He is responsible for countless dance parties around town, is a contributing writer for RockthediscoDiscosaltCrossfadr & Magnetic Magazine, is the ambassador for the independent record label Subtrak, has lectured on the history and art of the DJ for the American Studies program at Yale University, and works full time as an architectural designer. For more information, visit his website at

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Ever since the late Jimmy Saville ingeniously employed two turntables to provide a continuous stream of airplay, the way we experience dance music has never been the same.

In this course, we will look at the history of the DJ from it's humble beginnings in the radio booth to the block parties of the south Bronx to mega stadiums around the world. We will examine the many contributions by the DJ to technology, music and culture. Special attention will be paid to the rising popularity of the DJ and his/her expanding role within this latest wave of electronic dance music.


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