The world of Pokémon has captivated people of all ages ever since its debut as Pocket Monsters: Red and Green in Japan for Game Boy in 1996. Now better known by its shortened title Pokémon, it has grown into a $92 billion industry that has lasted 25 years and spawned a trading card game, 122 other games, 21 movies, and 24 seasons of television. With such an expansive reach across the world, Pokémon has infiltrated every aspect of our media culture. Their musical contributions are no different. …


Military Style Field Drum

During the last year of my undergraduate college experience, I began to work heavily on rudimental snare drumming. This was always an area that I was lacking in within the world of percussion and while I had plenty of marching and drumline experience, snare drum had always evaded me. In my private lessons we talked about technique, the proper warm-ups and stretching exercises to achieve the highest mobility. We talked about relaxing my shoulders and dropping my arms so I didn’t look so clunky behind the drum. We even talked about the history of rudimental drumming and the difference between…


If you’re anything like me, you probably spend more time than you should scrolling through the oh so addicting app Tik Tok (the average user spends about 50 minutes a day on the app). Despite what your interests are, Tik Tok’s algorithm does a magnificent job learning which videos you watch all the way through and which videos you like. This leads to your “For You Page” (also referred to as simply FYP) to be filled with videos that you are more likely to spend time watching. Forbes magazine even called Tik Tok a “Digital Crack Cocaine”. In their interview…


I have been a cellist in a worship band for over 4 years now. Since starting out I have taken on various musical roles. My situation is unique from the “traditional” church going cellist because my church does not have an orchestra. I am the lone orchestral string player in a contemporary worship band. This is a trend that is becoming more common in mainstream contemporary Christian groups such as “For King and Country”, “Bethel Music” and many others. This creates an interesting setting in which I usually have to be very aware of how I fit into the mix…


One of the hardest things to do in a story is start in the middle. And yet, it’s something movies and tv shows do all the time. The first thing you see is a character that has already lived life to some degree, and they’re living it in a world that has already existed for seemingly thousands of years. So how do they convince their audiences that this fictional world is as ancient as they say? How do they make people believe this world has had many stories before the one they are currently watching? And most importantly, how do…


For the longest time I viewed the musical world through two separate lenses. The first of which was the educational lens in which I participated in band, choir, and orchestra. In this musical ecosystem I grew my knowledge of classical music training techniques and repertoire. The second viewpoint I had of music was created by recreational listening. This was the soundscape that pulled me into the emotive side of music and showed me how to use music as an escape from the world around me.

This Jekyll and Hyde version of a musical life that I was living worked well…


When I was in elementary school, I started playing the cello. This endeavor began 13 years ago and has been a part of my musical journey for over half my life. I struggled through the first 6 years the same way any public-school kid without a private teacher would have. I was normally first chair in my school orchestra but when it came to anything outside of those four walls I was the bottom of the totem pole. During my junior year of high school I started taking private lessons and my world opened up. Allowing me to gain more…


Image courtesy of Knops.co

People are always quick to gush over the newest film score because of its “epic proportions” or its “new and unique sound”. It’s true that many of today’s film composers are masters at creating character themes, epic battle soundtracks, or quiet reflective moments through their music. However, there are some composers that see a scene in a movie and realize that what it needs most is nothing.

History

The art of using silence or “negative musical space” is ancient in concept. The idea of turning an expectation of sound on its head can be found in many cultures around the world…


Comic book depiction of the Joker

What do Nelson Riddle, Danny Elfman, Shirley Walker, Hans Zimmer, and Hildur Guðnadóttir have in common? They have all tried their hands at creating a musical sound that encapsulates a fiendish clown prince of crime. The Joker has had many different iterations through the decades. Each came with its own actor, look, and context. With so many different versions of the same character existing out in the world, it only makes sense that the music used to represent him would change too. As the character evolves, so does his soundscape.

Who is the Joker?


The 6 heroes of the Justice League

Perhaps one of the most talked about movie releases in the past few years, the recent HBO Max exclusive Zack Snyder cut of Justice League seems to have taken the world by storm. Die-hard fans of DC comics had been pushing to see this unreleased, 4-hour long cut of the movie ever since the original version came out in 2017. Many mixed reviews combined with a history of struggle for the first release of Justice League made for many fans calling it cringeworthy. …

Austin Testerman

Professional music instructor focused on analyzing musical concepts and trends in popular music.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store