Long-running music download and subscription site eMusic has debuted new free iPad app eMusic Scenes, which memorializes seminal musical movements and their surrounding cultural elements as a high-tech multimedia experience. An interactive coffee table book of sorts, the program marries essays from popular music writers with audiovisual elements including song samples, photos, videos and Internet radio as a tribute to each historical inflection point.
Eighteen notable scenes from the classic and modern recording industry epochs are featured, including Athens’ college rock scene (1980-2000), the Bay Area’s hyphy movement (1995-2010) and Berlin’s techno era (2000-2010). Scrolling all the way back to London’s pub rock roots, San Francisco’s hippie movement and even Memphis and Chicago’s gospel and blue scenes, each entry is designed to recreate the era’s spirit and sound.
Letting users browse articles, comment on each entry and save featured album selections to eMusic queues for later download, the application’s social media elements also let users suggest new topics for addition. Equal parts encyclopedia and promotional piece, should the application prove popular, future entries may see it evolve to become a comprehensive reference volume that also doubles as an artist and song discovery tool.
Available at no cost, attractively appointed and a convenient summary of notable ages in music history, it provides a brief, but unexpectedly enjoyable entrée to the underground and mainstream uprisings which have shaped modern music.