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The DJ from the 40s to Nowadays

He makes us dance and have fun, creating original music sequences and mixing different songs together. We are speaking about the DJ, and this is his history, in brief.

Author: Francesca Tessarollo
Date: May 3, 2011 - 9:19:39 AM

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When you go to the disco or attend an electronic music concert, much of your fun is due to the DJ who works at the console, who use a Behringer mixer, for example, and who chooses the songs to mix and play trying to make everybody dance and have fun.  

Through the years the figure of DJ has definitely changed: in the beginning DJs were “only” those who played the records, but nowadays and especially when we speak about famous and appreciated DJs, we speak about professionals that can be considered as real stars, exactly like popstars and rock musicians. A popular DJ can fill arenas and squares like a famous band, creating music events that can attract thousands of people, not to speak about the sold records, which often compete against those of rock and popstars for the top of the chart.   

Although you might say that they look like ultramodern figures born of the epoch we live in, actually they originated a long time ago. Someone says that the first DJs were born along with the first radio experiments, but it is with the opening of the first discotheques in France that the first DJs are supposed to be born. The epoch we are speaking about is the one of the German occupation of France, when the first discotheques began to rise, places where people could dance and listen to blues and jazz music coming from the States, in spite of the German prohibition to spread music coming from the States. In these first discotheques there was need for someone to choose and play records, and this is how the DJs were born. However, these people began to be called DJ only later on: it was in the 1960s, in the States, that the term disc jockey was coined, a term that we still use to refer to the person that works at the console and mixing desk.  

Through the years the tasks, as well as the importance of DJs, have changed a lot, and while in the beginning the disc jockey was simply the person in charge of playing the records that had been bought by the club, with the passing of time he has turned into a more and more autonomous figure, decisive for the success of the club or the event. Also the instruments that have been used by DJs have obviously changed, and nowadays disc jockeys use a number of accessories, from headphones to mixing console. A huge contribution to the development of the figure of the DJ was certainly given in the 70s by the huge popularity of disco music, but it was in the 90s, with the development of dance, house and techno music, that the most popular DJs began to be seen as real stars, capable of having a number of fans willing to follow them wherever they went, exactly as happens to bands and musicians when they are on tour.  

Well, here are explained the origin of DJs and their developments throughout history. Next time you go to the disco or you attend a live event, you will probably look at the artist of the console in a different way, thinking about the ancient origin of this figure and the changes that he has gone through before he began to make us dance and have fun!    


This article was written by Francesca Tessarollo with help from djx700. For more information, please visit amplificatore cuffie or cassa amplificata.  

View all articles by Francesca Tessarollo

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