Music Technology

July 18, 2021 by No Comments

What is Music Technology?

Composers and songwriters’ music can be heard in a variety of settings; the most conventional is to hear it live in an amphitheater, concert hall, cabaret room, theatre, tavern, or coffeehouse, in the presence of the musicians (or as one of the performers). Live music has been broadcast on the radio, television, and the Internet since the twentieth century, as well as recorded and played on a CD player or an MP3 player.

Some musical genres are concerned with creating songs and pieces for live performance, while others are concerned with creating a recording that combines sounds that were never played “live.” Even with basically live forms like rock, recording engineers frequently exploit the capacity to edit, splice, and mix to create recordings that are “better” than the live performance. Some vocalists, for example, record themselves singing a melody and then use overdubbing to record several harmony parts, producing a sound that would be hard to achieve live.

History of Music Technology:

Since prehistoric times, when cave dwellers used rudimentary tools to drill holes into bone flutes 41,000 years ago, technology has had an impact on music. Technology continued to influence music throughout history as it enabled the use of new instruments and music notation reproduction systems, with the invention of the printing press in the 1400s being one of the watershed moments in music notation, as it meant that music scores no longer had to be hand copied. Music technology advanced in the nineteenth century, resulting in the creation of a more powerful, louder piano as well as new valve brass instruments.

As talking movies with pre-recorded musical tracks became popular in the early twentieth century (late 1920s), an increasing number of movie house orchestra musicians lost their jobs. Live musical performances by orchestras, pianists, and theatre organists were frequent in first-run theatres throughout the 1920s.

Those prominent performances were mostly discontinued with the introduction of talking movies. The American Federation of Musicians (AFM) ran newspaper ads opposing the use of mechanical playing devices in place of actual musicians. “Canned Music/Big Noise Brand/Guaranteed to Produce No Intellectual or Emotional Reaction Whatever,” according to a 1929 advertisement in the Pittsburgh Press.

Since legislation to help protect performers, composers, publishers, and producers was introduced, such as the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 in the United States and the revised Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works in the United Kingdom in 1979, recordings and live performances have also become more accessible through computers, devices, and the Internet in a form that is co-authored.

In many cultures, the difference between performing and listening to music is blurred since nearly everyone participates in some type of musical activity, frequently in a group setting. Around the middle of the twentieth century, in industrialized nations, listening to music via a recorded medium, such as a record or radio, became more popular than seeing a live performance. Music videos had become a popular method of listening to music while also viewing the artists in the 1980s.

Pre-recorded sounds are sometimes used in live performances. A disc jockey, for example, scratches disc records, and some 20th-century compositions include a solo for an instrument or voice that is played alongside music that has been encoded onto a tape. Some pop groups rely on pre-recorded background tracks. Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) music may be created and played on computers and various keyboards. Participants in karaoke, a Japanese activity based on a gadget that plays voice-eliminated versions of well-known songs, can also become performers. The words to the songs being performed are shown on video displays in most karaoke machines.


The Internet and ubiquitous high-speed broadband access have changed the way people listen to music, partially because it has made it easier to obtain music recordings via streaming video and given customers a far wider selection of music to choose from. While the conventional economic model of supply and demand explains scarcity, the Internet retail model is built on plenty, according to Chris Anderson’s book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More.

Due to the low cost of digital storage, a firm can afford to make its whole recording inventory available online, providing clients with as many options as possible. As a result, selling music recordings that only a few people care about has become commercially viable. As consumers become more conscious of their expanded options, they begin to associate listening preferences with social identity, resulting in the emergence of hundreds of niche industries.

Online communities and social media websites such as YouTube and Facebook, a social networking service, are an example of another Internet impact. These websites make it simpler for budding singers and amateur bands to share their music videos, interact with other artists, and receive attention from an audience. YouTube is also used by professional artists to distribute promotional content for free.

Users of YouTube, for example, no longer just download and listen to MP3s; they also actively create them. There has been a change from a typical consumer position to what Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams term a “prosumer” one, a consumer who simultaneously generates and consumes material, according to Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams’ book Wikinomics. The creation of mashes, remixes, and music videos by fans are examples of this in music.

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