MIT Heavy Metal 101 2024

Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Virtual Event

Not a Metallurgy class! This veteran crash-course is coming back in full force and will have you head banging, air guitaring, and devil horn raising in no time! Learn everything you ever wanted to know about Heavy Metal, including how Metallica continues to evolve, why Lemmy IS God (RIP), how the genre tackles some of today's biggest sociopolitical challenges, why metal bands exist in every country on Earth, and why you're probably already a metalhead without even knowing it.  

WARNING: This series most definitely goes to 11!  Earplugs optional.

We'll look at metal cultures, explore the fringes of the most extreme forms of metal, and, of course, listen to some SCREAMING HEAVY METAL! This is guaranteed to be the most BRUTAL class ever offered at MIT! Anyone is welcome to join, and since we're remote again this year, seating isn't limited. Learn more about this series' past in the class archive!

Heavy Metal 101: Music and Culture

Monday January 15, 2024

An introduction to Heavy Metal. Topics include the musicology of Heavy Metal as well as an examination of Heavy Metal culture. This multimedia extravaganza covers everything you ever wanted to know about Heavy Metal!

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Music as Emotional Catharsis with Jason McMaster

Tuesday January 16, 2024

MIT Heavy Metal 101 is pleased to present guest lecturer, Jason McMaster. Jason McMaster, metal vocalist from bands including Watchtower and Dangerous Toys, will delve into the unique ways heavy metal serves as a form of emotional release and a coping mechanism for millions worldwide. Also a seasoned School of Rock educator for the past 18 years, Jason will discuss the process of song creation, from the intellectual spark to the physical act of crafting melodies with wood and wires, and how this genre has evolved into a therapeutic art form.

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Guitar Tablature Generation with Deep Learning with Pedro Sarmento

Wednesday January 17, 2024

MIT Heavy Metal 101 is pleased to present guest lecturer, Pedro Sarmento. Within the field of symbolic music generation with deep learning, most works focus on MIDI representations, but less attention has been paid to guitar-focused symbolic music using digital tablatures. Guitar Pro format tablatures are a type of digital music notation that encapsulates information about guitar playing techniques and fingerings. Tablatures are often the preferred way of notating music digitally amongst the rock and metal communities.  This presentation will showcase the findings concerning the generation of multi-instrument compositions in Guitar Pro with Transformer architectures. The talk will focus on (1) the DadaGP dataset, a corpus of Guitar Pro tablature data suitable for sequence models, (2) GTR-CTRL, conditioning methods for Transformer models for the task of guitar tablature generation that allow for control over instrumentation and musical genre, (3) ShredGP, methods for guitarist-style conditioned guitar tablature generation with Transformers and (4) ProgGP, a practice-based research approach for creating AI-generated but human-produced prog metal music.

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Innovating Metal Music with Technology with Jordan Rudess - LIVE In-Person and Online!

Thursday January 18, 2024

This class will take place online in-person on MIT's Campus in room 35-225 and will be livestreamed (if possible) and recorded for later viewing.

MIT Heavy Metal 101 is pleased to present guest lecturer, Jordan Rudess. Jordan Rudess, keyboardist for the progressive metal band Dream Theater and founder of Wizdom Music will share his expertise on the fusion of technology and metal music. Focusing on the innovative use of Riffler, an app for creating copyright-free guitar riffs, Jordan will also invite conversation regarding the roles of artificial intelligence and creativity in musical performance. This class will be an opportunity to gain insights from a pioneer in the integration of digital technology in metal music.

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Heavy Music Mothers: Extreme Identities, Narrative Disruptions with Joan Jocson-Singh and Julie Turley

Monday January 22, 2024

MIT Heavy Metal 101 is pleased to present guest lecturers, Joan Jocson-Singh and Julie Turley. The book Heavy Music Mothers: Extreme Identities, Narrative Disruptions is an exploration of women and heavy music and the ways in which women have historically engaged with musicking as mothers. Julie Turley and Joan Jocson-Singh, musicking mothers themselves, largely employ an ethnographic lens, foregrounded in powerful one-on-one original interviews as vignettes that narrate thematic patterns. Other chapters examine motherhood identity embedded in respective published rock music memoirs, discussions of rock performance as a site of maternal bonding, and themes that arise when heavy music mothers write about motherhood.

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The Physics of Shred with Dr. Gore

Tuesday January 23, 2024

MIT Heavy Metal 101 is pleased to present guest lecturer, Dr. Gore. Dr. Gore’s session will focus on the relationship between the physics of the electric guitar and the characteristic sounds of heavy metal guitars. Topics covered will include pickup design and placement, natural and artificial harmonics, multiscale/”fanned fret” guitars, the boons and banes of nonlinearity, and why distortion is so integral to the “heavy metal sound.” Dr. Gore will also perform some shredtastic demonstrations of each of these principles along the way.

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History of Heavy Metal: Part I

Wednesday January 24, 2024

A seminar examining the history of Heavy Metal from the late 1960s through the early 1990s. Topics will include Hard Rock, Archetypal Heavy Metal, and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM).

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Similarity of Musical Subcultures Across Different Nations – Heavy Metal Fans as a Global Tribe with Akemi Nishimura

Thursday January 25, 2024

MIT Heavy Metal 101 is pleased to present guest lecturer, Akemi Nishimura. We will explore the uniqueness of contemporary Japanese culture and how national cultures have an impact on metal fandom and personalities based on the 6 dimensions model of national culture by Geert Hofstede.

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History of Heavy Metal: Part II

Monday January 29, 2024

A seminar examining the history of Heavy Metal from the early 1980s to the present. Topics include Power Metal, Thrash Metal and the Big 4, New American Metal, Metalcore and Grindcore, Black Metal, Death Metal, and Extreme Metal.

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All About Harsh Vocals – History, Application, and Technique with Paul Buckley

Tuesday January 30, 2024

MIT Heavy Metal 101 is pleased to present guest lecturer, Paul Buckley. This talk will discuss the history of harsh vocals, how they are applied in everyday life, and how rock and metal singers use them to do what they do.

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History of Heavy Metal: Part III

Wednesday January 31, 2024

This will be a seminar examining even more genres of Heavy Metal. Topics will include more obscure genres of Progressive Metal, Metal Fusion, Experimental and Avant-Garde Metal, and whatever else we missed so far. As always, it's going to get weird.

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music, metal, IAP


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