History of Turntablism

By | April 7, 2021


The basic roots of using the turntable as an instrument date back to the 1930s. John Cage used two turntables, a muted piano and a cymbal to create ‘Imaginary Landscape No. 1 ‘1939.


A variety of musicians and producers began experimenting with turntables in the 1960s. The most notable use of a turntable was by Creedence Clearwater Revival 1968 on a track called ‘Walk on the Water.’ It had a backspin effect.

Hip hop

Turntablism became a modern art form in the 1970s with the development of the hip. Early DJs used scraping and beating to provide musical accompaniment to rap and hip hop lyrics.

1980 and 1990

The use of turntables in a live and a group setting became prominent in the 1980s. A lot of hip hop groups and rock bands started performing a DJ as part of their sound. This began to disappear in the 1990s and created a subculture of musicians.


In 1995, DJ Babu or DJ Disk coined the term ‘turntablism’. With this definition of the art form, a number of new musicians emerged who only used turntables to create music. This grew with the popularity of electronic music around 2000. The art of using a phonograph turntable to manipulate sound and create music is called turntablism. The person using the turntable is called a DJ mixer. A turntable list differs from a DJ playing recordings in that the DJ mixer performs with the unit as an instrument, moving and moving the recordings to create the desired sound. Although the history of the story is short, a number of different concepts mark a time of turntablism.