One of the first questions (ethno)musicologists ask is, “Hey, but what does it look like?” Turntablism now has its own patch of the curriculum at Berklee (NYT), and this is what it looks like in the Turntable Transcription Methodology devised by John Carpaccio:

turntable transcription

Here (PDF) is an in-depth description, but you should be able to figure it if you bear in mind that time scrolls from left to right and record rotation hogs the vertical axis, so that / indicates forward motion and \ a backward spin.

So does this mean that turntablism has become a science dominated by rational souls of the likes of DJ Radar, with his Concerto for Turntable and Orchestra (PDF)? Er, not quite. DJ Q*Bert, for example, says that playing turntables “is like a spiritual thing… it’s like you’re the instrument, and the universe is playing you.”

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