When looking for new music, I find there are two different paths you can take—passive and active. By passive, I mean checking out websites and apps that act like customizable radios. With Spotify, iTunes, 8tracks, Pandora, Songza and Rdio, you can pick an artist, genre or just a song, and then let a computer algorithm introduce you to similar music. I personally recommend checking out the WNYC show “SoundCheck” (soundcheck.wnyc.org). The show’s archives are a treasure trove of new music.
I tend to be more active in my searching. I start with an artist I know and then look for related artists. Spotify, for example, has a tab called “related artists,” and in iTunes, you can look under an artist’s information to find influencers, followers and contemporaries. The place to find the freshest music is SoundCloud, where users upload their original music and remixes. For those looking for electronic and hip hop, this is the place.
Looking through someone else’s playlist is another strategy. Typing something as simple as “modern dance” into one of the sites I mention above can yield plenty of options. Finally, there’s the old-school way—asking your peers. Try posting a query on a forum for dance educators, like the National Dance Education Organization’s site (ndeo.org). Once, I saw a post in the site’s K–12 forum asking for creative movement music recommendations, and the lists just kept coming.
Barry Blumenfeld teaches at the Friends Seminary in New York City. He is an adjunct professor at New York University and on faculty at the Dance Education Laboratory of the 92nd Street Y.
Photo courtesy of Barry Blumenfeld