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Experience Music Project

Author Koren Stembridge
Air Date 11/3/2000

Experience Music Project Transcript

This summer in Seattle, amid rock concerts and much fanfare, a new museum opened to the public. It’s called the Experience Music Project. Located in the shadow of the famous Space Needle, and housed in an amazing, wavy, metallic building designed by architect Frank O Gehry, this ambitious undertaking promises visitors a total music immersion experience. 

Now if you’re not planning a trip to Seattle in the near future, never fear. The folks at EMP have put up a power website designed to delight, educate, and inspire. And this is no run-of-the-mill, intro to music site. It’s sophisticated, audio and video intensive, and a real journey through the history of American popular music. 

Be warned, this site demands loads of plug-ins, and it sure helps to have a fast Internet connection – but if you’ve got a teenager with a predilection for guitars, this is one site that really rocks!

Visitors to the EMP website are offered two primary courses of study. The first thread is called Explored, and its major emphasis is on the history and evolution of American music. An artifact showcase offers viewers a look at interesting pieces of music memorabilia, synopses of the individual items accompanied by audio files, photographs, and interviews, anything that will give you a better sense of how that particular playbill, or poster, or recording fits into the history of music at that time. There are also features, including a media-packed timeline documenting the evolution of Hip Hop and a chronology of Punk. But perhaps one of the most interesting explorations is the Artist of the Week, where you are invited to listen to the music of a new artist. The musicians and singers featured here take their inspiration from a wide range of musical styles and traditions. 

The second major thread to the EMP website is called Create – it’s kind of a tutorial for aspiring musicians. If your dream is to play the guitar like Hendrix, this is the site for you. Each day features new guitar lick, download some free software, and you can take the extended weekly guitar lessons. 

Another creative feature is called “The Elements of a Song.” Here you can sing along with Ann and Nancy Wilson while learning to understand the importance of harmony in music. 

One of the coolest portions of the entire EMP site is called “The Business of the Band,” where you’re invited to follow indie band “SEAM” on a tour. You’ll learn every from how a tour is booked, publicized, and staged, down to viewing the band’s equipment list, their expense sheets, and their setlists. This is a real inside look at what it’s like to be a band on tour. If you belong to a garage band that’s looking to take your music to the next level, check out the list of Musician’s Resource Links for suggestions from industry experts. 

The Experience Music Project website is a glorious virtual tour into the world of American popular music, a sure bet to please both the musician and the music appreciator. 

Posted in Music