Disc jockey

From ArticleWorld

A disc jockey is also called a DJ, or a deejay. Disc jockeys play music that has been prerecorded for a specific audience, often at bars, nightclubs or parties. DJ’ing involves selecting and playing recordings of music or sound. This can be as simple as playing a pre-determined play list or as advanced as using manipulation techniques like audio mixing, phrasing, scratching, cutting, cueing and beat making. Often, when the latter is involved, the disc jockey evolves from playing prerecorded selections to creating his or her own musical composition.

History of the word

Radio announcers were first called disc jockeys, in reference to their role introducing and playing gramophone records (discs). Today, a number of factors (like the type of music, the composition of the audience, and the medium of recording and the setting of the performance) determine the different types of disc jockeys.


Every disc jockey needs at least three things in order to perform: sound recordings in the medium of choice, two devices for playback to allow for continuous playback and a sound system to amplify recordings. A mixer (to mix the sound between the two playback devices), a microphone and headphones (in order to listen to one recording while another is playing) are all recommended, but are not required. More technical equipment, like samplers, drum machines, effects processors, slip mats and laptops can also be used.

Kinds of DJs

The ultimate role of a disc jockey – to select and play music for an audience – is the same. There is, however, a great variety in the music, the audience, the setting and the level of sophistication used. Common types of DJs include:

  • Radio DJs, who play music that is broadcast over the radio.
  • Rave or club DJs who play music in a club setting.
  • Hip-hop DJs who create new music through sampling etc.
  • Mobile DJs who tour with their own systems and an extensive music collection and work for hire.