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Music Past

Page history last edited by Lashauna Franklin 10 years, 1 month ago

Music Group  

Music Past

Music Present                                                                                                                                                 

Music Future




     Western music dates back as early as 500 to 1400 A.D. "Derived from the name of Pope Gregory the 1st, Gregorian music was and still is the most profound form of music in western history. Georgian music came from both Jewish and byzantime spiritual chant and is a catholic form of chant. A monophonic  is what defines this religious chant music. Over time original tones were manipulated and spread across many regions. It is said that Pope Gregory the first codified tones "during the sixth-century, establishing uniform usage throughout the Western Catholic Church." It is unknown to what extent the Pope contributed to Gregorian chant music. Other forms that resulted from monophonic music included Secular, Organum, and Guillaume."


     Other well-known types of music from our past include tribal, gospel, and orchestra. Orchestra was introduced in the 1500's. Mozart and Beethoven are two of the greatest composers known in history that composed for live orchestras. Like other first, orchestrated music was limited to the upper class and the elite. A brewing change among the classes paved the way for new music. As noted in Thomas E. Larson's third edition of History of Rock and Roll, this "birth was a manifestation of a seismic shift that was already taking place in our cultural fabric: from an elitist to a working class ethos; from a adult oriented society to one that gloried youth." thus rock and roll was born, but we'll talk about that later.







           The Phonograph was not the first instrument invented that could record voice and sound. Inventor Leon Scott created the Phonoautograph in 1857. This was well before Thomas Edison’s phonograph created in 1877.  Leon’s device used a horn to direct sound toward a flexible diaphragm placed at the small end. Attached to the diaphragm was a stylus and lever assembly that allowed the point to scratch out a line on a rotating cylinder beneath it.” In 2001 a search for Leon Scott’s phonoautograph traces found little evidence from the time preceding the phonautograph. It is thought that the device was quite fragile and incompatible with modern day technology. No recognizable sound could be rendered from the prehistoric device. Alexander Graham Bell would later attempt to improve Leon’s invention using the ear parts of a human cadaver.  




               Phonautograph                                     Alexander Graham Bell                                 Earphonautograph



     "Bell's ear Phonautograph was a very unusual variation on the basic technology. The recording mechanism was the human ear. By removing a chunk of skull including the inner ear from a human cadaver, and attaching a stylus to the moving parts of the ear, he was able to use this bio-mechanical device to make a recording of the sounds that entered a recording horn. It recorded on a moving glass strip, coated with a film of carbon, so there are probably no original recordings from it. When he learned of the invention of the phonograph, Bell wondered why he didn't think of it himself."







 Despite both Leon Scott and Alexander Bell's work in sound recording being deliberate, Thomas Edison's invention of the phonograph was a sheer coincidence.


Thomas Edison (1847-1931) was born in Milan, Ohio and later moved with his family to Port Huron, Michigan. He had been working since he was 12 years old. By the time he was 16 he came up with his first authentic invention called the "automatic repeater" which transmitted telegraph signals between unmanned stations. He is known for his many inventions including phonograph, kinetophone, kinetoscope, film projectors, and electricity/the light bulb. Thomas Edison is important to the music industry because he created one of the first inventions that really got the industry started, which was the phonograph. The phonograph was described as "hand-cranked, grooved cylinder mandrel covered with a thin sheet of tinfoil." By August 13, 1877 Edison submitted a sketch of the first phonograph to machinist John Kreusi, who completed building the first model in about a month. In 1889 The North American Phonograph Company was established, and the American recording industry was born. In 1902 Edison released a portable player called the "Little Gem." and also introduced a cylinder that played for four minutes. In 1912 he introduced the "Diamond Discs" which were vertical cut records. As you can tell, he contributed to a lot of the early productions of sound recording.


The following site gives a in depth account of how Edison came about creating the phonograph. The site also displays some of Edison's early advertisements for the phonograph and other equipment. Here you'll find "The History of the Edison Cylinder Phonograph" http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/edhtml/edcyldr.html



This is a 1905 Edison Home Phonograph (model B) playing an Edison Blue Amberol cylinder (#1514) entitled "The Mocking Bird - Fantasia." This was recorded around 1912. The xylophone player was a well-known xylophone and bell player of the time, Charles Daab, who was featured on a number of Blue Amberol cylinders. This cylinder was one of the earlier Blue Amberol Cylinders (pre-1915), which are of note since they were still recorded acoustically -- directly to the master cylinder. From around 1915 until 1929 (when the last Blue Amberols were recorded), Edison would first electrically record selections for his "Diamond Disc" product line and then electrically dub them to the master cylinder. Thus, the later Blue Amberols were really a "by-product" of the Diamond Discs. Edison's new emphasis on the Diamond Discs was a result of his realization that the public was embracing the flat disc record much more so than the cylinder record." Blue Amberol was the first of many musical products to be advertised. Thomas Edison declared that he wanted one in every American home.



                                This is a video of the Edison's phonograph playing "Listen to the Mocking Bird"







A new "player" in the game that would shift things into a new direction.   Gramophone


     It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when people were not able to listen to sound recordings (music) in the comfort of their own home. The gramophone was the invention that changed the lives of many people around the world beginning in 1887A man by the name of Emile Berliner developed the gramophone.


     The gramophone is an important device of the music industry because it played a large role in popularizing (music), by putting it right into the homes of consumers around the world. Until the gramophone came along, live music was the only way to enjoy professionally performed music. The gramophone played records that could be labeled and mass-produced.


 Emile Berliner was a German-born American inventor who helped bring sound recording into its mass medium stage. Berliner patented the gramophone using concepts from Thomas Edison and Chichester Bells inventions. Emile Berliner saw Alexander Bell’s invention of the telephone and used his knowledge to revise its flaws. In 1876 he created the loose-contact telephone transmitter. This interest in experimentation eventually led to the discovery of the gramophone. The gramophone allowed music to be played over and over, also permitting records and flat disks to be duplicated in mass quantitiesAfter his discovery he moved to America and began to run a business in Washington D.C. selling the gramophone on the commercial market. 


Berliner is a founding father in the music industry. Berliner gave birth to the distribution and reproduction of music, which created so many opportunities for the sound recording industry to thrive. Without his inventions, so many things we use today wouldn’t exist. We would still have Thomas Edison’s wax disk. We would not be able to communicate with people ovver long distances. The flat disk Berliner developed was the precursor for CDs and other ideals to follow.   Emile Berliner’s innovations led to mass distribution, which provided the world with the music we all so enjoy. By commercially distributing music quickly, efficiently, and in mass quantities, he sent the entertainment industry, mostly the music/radio/sound recording industries, into prosperity.  Berliner also revised Alexander Bell’s microphone, his prototype design was impressive and successful. It is basically the model that is used today in live music events. Berliner recorded a variety of artists, in all different genres and all different languages; a hundred of which were later selected to be distributed throughout his business and eventually to the public. In 1876, Emile Berliner invented a microphone used as a telephone speech transmitter. At the U.S. Centennial Exposition, Emile Berliner had seen a Bell Company telephone demonstrated and was inspired to find ways to improve the newly invented telephone. The Bell Telephone Company was impressed with what the inventor came up with and bought Berliner's microphone patent for $50,000, at least that is what some will have you believe.


All of Berliners contributions to the sound recording industry did not come easy, Bells telecommunication monopoly put much strain on Berliner. The following link will lead you to where the chain of events concerning the tele-trasmitter (microphone) unfold.          Click Here










The dawn of cassette's start back in the 1878, with magnetic recording by Oberlin Smith, who came up with the theory after going to Thomas Edison's lab. Ten years later Oberlin develops "a machine with an electromagnet and a string with iron fillings." Valdemar Poulsen developed the first magnetic recording device in 1898. Music was soon recorded onto cassette tapes. Through the mid 1900's many companies started developing the one roll black oxide paper



Scotch 111 tape




                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The first "portable" Cassette player














Big Business VS. Independent Lables 



     Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger wrote and sang very influential folk music. Folk music is known for its social and political active content. "Witch hunts," or so called communist and spies, here in America targeted prominent musicians like Guthri and Seeger as to make examples of those who went againstly the grain and spoke out against the "American Way." As a result of these witch hunts many of today's bigwig music companies rolled over on small and independent artists, naming them as potential communist and spies. Often times these accusations came without warrant and most bigwig companies threw the smaller independent companies under the bus because they felt the smaller companies were a threat to them. Many of these companies that named names still stand today, bigger and better than ever. These actions forced artist to look in a new direction. Pete Seeger for a fair amount of time went through the "backwoods" continuing his fight against injustice through song. This sheds light on how underground music came to exist. One may come to find there's a way around everything. 





In 1958, RCA cartridges were developed creating reel to reel cartridges (cassettes) capabble of playing 30 minutes of recorded sound. It was bigger than the average cassettes. One year later, in 1959, radio broadcasters started using fidelipac cassettes for commercials and announcements. Then in 1963 the compact cassettes was introduced by Philips, they were 1/4 smaller than the fildelipac cassettes. Finally in 1964, 8-track tapes (also known as Stereo 8 and Lear Jet), created by Lear Jet corporation. Each technology opened the door for the next and would later add a social context.


Fidelipac of 1962,
from Electronic World, Nov. 1966
Fidelipac of 1962,
from Electronic World, Nov. 1966

"Fidelipac 4-track tape cartridge system with 300 ft. of 1/4-in. tape that ran at 3-3/4 ips for up to 1200 ft. for two hours of music, equivalent to four LP albums. This cartridge was used by Earl Muntz in California in 1962, thus inaugurating the cartridge tape player market for automobiles. Muntz also sold a library of 3000 titles licensed from 40 record companies. In the 1960s, Muntz sold about half of the 700,000 Fidelipac-type players."


Lear of 1965,
from Electronic World, Nov. 1966
Lear of 1965,
from Electronic World, Nov. 1966

"Lear 8-track cartridge diagram for the 1/4-in. tape system developed by Lear Jet for the Ford new car models of 1965, with a tape library provided by RCA Victor. Chrysler autos and Capitol records soon followed and 8-track surpassed the Fidelipac system."








The following atical, by author David Pescovitz of collectors weekly, shows one account on how and why music sharing began. 

"Miles Lightwood is a boom box archivist. His site, Boomboxラジカセ Creators, celebrates the history of these "portable" social music machines. Collectors Weekly talked to Lightwood about his passion for badass boomboxes:

Collectors Weekly: Where did the boombox originate?

Miles Lightwood: The boombox by its typical definition—a handled, portable, radio cassette deck with one or more speakers—was actually invented in the Netherlands by Philips in 1969. The one considered the first boombox was made so that you could record from the radio onto the cassette without having any external cables for a microphone. All of a sudden, you’ve got a very easy music-sharing culture, and the Japanese companies basically took that idea and ran with it.

In my mind, the first device that’s like the urban boombox of popular culture is the JVC RC-550 (above), which was a monster box. It’s got a 10-inch subwoofer, it looks mean, and it’s got lights and the full package. That was made in ’75." Aside from allowing everyday citizens the ability to record music from the radio and share it with immediate friends, family, and associates, the boom box brought people to gather and was arguably the first portable listining device.  It successfully helped to kick started the break dance culture which was highly popular in the African American community. After while most cultures adopeted this dance style. 

(Technology+dance= money) This all meant more money for the music industry. The more popular a trend became, the more people went out and bought stuff. But, we must remeber, this device was created to do all sorts of things ie "record Raido."

      Once consumers got tired of skipping and jumping and new technologies became available, they would come to expect more. With the introduction of the two sided boombox people could play a tape they had purchased on one side and record onto a blank tape on the other side. one could bet phillips did see that coming nor all that would follow. The links contained in the above artical have been copied from the orignal site and are still linked to the source of information. Click Away !!!



Jumping to 1979, Sony's Walkman the first portable music system that was light weight which came with headphones and being able to run on AA batteries. All in all, cassette tapes was a great progression for recording which helped distribute music to more people. According to vintagecassettes.com "The global sale of blank cassettes in 1996 was 2.098 billion blank copies. In 1997, this decreased by 4.5% to 2.003 billion." People were playing (dubbed tapes) more often then not instead of store bought tapes. This had a great impact on the sales of phyically distributed music. 

Company’s began to compensate for Phillips over sight

But will this model last? 




Rock & Roll and Business: The Music business began to change just as the technologies. Columbia/CBS, RCA Victor, United Artist- MGM Capitol-Emi, MCA, and Warner communications all are companies that resulted from multiple company mergers. In the 1970’s theses companies would pour money into well established artist/bands like the eagles and Fleetwood Mac. While other groups like journey and foreigner relied on more typical business models to sell records, most of which were dull and more or less straight forth. The personal interests of industry moguls like David Geffen of asylum, Walter Yetnikoff of CBS/Columbia, Nell Bogart of Casablanca and Tommy Mattloa of Sony would further shape the music industry. They often times made shady and underhanded business deals and decisions, but not all the time were these actions for money. Some of these high profile moguls would do things for pay back or just in the name of business. All of this advertising, backstabbing, and greed lead to thirty years of turmoil. After all was said and done the era cultivated a business model that would prove to be insufficient.




Artist Facts


  • The Eagles original band members consisted of Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon, Don Henley, and Glenn Frey. They became a "wildly successful" band. The Eagles achieved this by creating the total package. Each member had the ability to write, sing, and look good. This band staked claims to having the best selling album in US history, Eagles/ Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975. They sold nearly thirty million LP copies of this album. 


  • Fleetwood Mac was formed from London’s blues vibe in 1967. Though the group was quite popular in the UK, Fleetwood Mac found it hard to reach stardom in the US. It was hard to tap into America exclusive success scene. It wasn't until Fleetwood Mac made their major career changes did they access stardom in America. The first strategic move was to California. While the second was the addition of new produces like Kent Caillat and Richard Dashut. The final piece that propelled Fleetwood into stardom was when Bob Welch quit. The group would ultimately recorded Rumors an album that had four top ten singles. The album gained much notice; it was named album of the year in 1975. More importantly the album held the number one for thirty-one weeks in 1978. Also in a very short time the album went both gold and platinum and sold close to 20 million copies.


  • "By the time the 1970's rolled around, rock had become the dominant music format of the mainstream culture, a fact that was reflected in the explosive sales growth of records and tapes. In 1973 music was a $2 billion a year industry; by 1978, sales had grown to $4 billion." 
  • "Investigative books such as Fredric Dannen's Hit Men and Steve Knopper's Appetite for Self-Destruction," illustrate some of the tactics that underhanded music mogles had.







     New technology caused cassettes to generally go away. CD's replaced cassettes because they were cheaper to produce and had better sound quality. Compact Discs(CD'S): After the invention and the popularity of the cassette tapes, compact discs were created in 1976, in the beginning they weren't as popular as cassettes. The first commercial CD sold was "Billy Joel's 52nd street" album in Japan on October 1st 1982 which boosted Joel's popularity along with the popularity of CD's. It wasn't until 1985 that CD's became more popular. The first CD album that sold one million copies was Dire Straits "Brother In Arms". This was an attempt to outsell the number of vinyl copies that had previously been sold. Despite this, people were still struggling to transition from cassettes to CD's due to the fact people did not simply want to replace their whole cassette album collection.  Much was done to encourage consumers to make the switch to CD's. Audio manufacturer's were even savvy enough to put classical music on CD's. Though CD's eventually caught on, they to would become a thing of the past



Billy Joel 52nd Street CD from 1982Sony's CDP-101\\





     Physical sales of CD's grossed over $36 billion in 2000 but sales have continued to decline rapidly over the past two decades, causing substantial layoffs in the music industry. This lowered the demand for physical copies of music and meant a smaller numbers of jobs within the music industry, leaving record companies and producers, even aspiring musicians to seek other methods of making money.


     The dramatic drop in revenue for physical sales also threatened retailers. Worldwide revenue continued to drop, for the last two decades: the comeback of physically distributed music is not likely. Stores like Borders, (book retailer also known for selling large selection of music) Virgin, Tower Records and many other small music stores are being forced out of business. But what could cause such chain of events to happen all around the world? 


 *Some ways the music industry has begun rebuilding itself by accepting the digital era as the future and working with the rise of digital distribution. They are creating more ways to advertise and stream their music. More merchandise is being made and sold using the Internet. They’re delivering special items and access to those to contribute more money.  *More ways artists are rebuilding their revenue is discussed in the future page when we discuss Pink Floyd and Nine Inch Nails member’s innovative success stories.*









 Napster logo


        CD's also propelled us into the future. CD's made the computer a music device as the world transitioned from the floppy discs to CD-Rom's. But things didn't stop there, as more technologies became available, people began to use technology in innovative ways. With the computer came the internet and of course, Napster. Napster allowed people to share and download music. "The problem that the music industry had with Napster was that it was a big, automated way to copy copyrighted material. It is a fact that thousands of people were, through Napster, making thousands of copies of copyrighted songs, and neither the music industry nor the artists got any money in return for those copies. (This type of piracy is still happening now, through sites other than Napster.)" Napster opened the flood gates for the next business model to come, "FREE!" 



















iTunes was created in 2003, which started the change in having all music convert over to digital. By 2010, iTunes had become the biggest music retailer in the world. iTunes has impacted the music industry in many ways. The first way is by allowing people to purchase singles instead of the entire album. People no longer need to buy an entire album for $18, if they only liked a few songs on the album. iTunes also allows independent artists to get their music out there and heard. As an article says "iTunes gives the people the power as opposed to giving record companies the power." In the past, artists would need to be licensed to a big record company in order for their music to be distributed majorly. On iTunes, it allows you to view new music and the top 10 albums and top 10 songs are the moment, so you're always being introduced to new music that you may not have specifically went on iTunes to purchase. iTune was one of the first Morrell pursuit programs. since music star become free on a host of Avenue business model sought the up right and morley grounded. these people would be a supplement Years









     Youtube was founded February of 2005 by Steven Chen. It provided much opportunity for average people to share home videos over the internet. However, the uses of YouTube quickly advanced from this ordinary use as users became board with the technology and started the new revolution of prosumerisim. In present days people are creating and sharing videos that display their talents, how to, and a host of other topics and  all to the world on a free platform. Youtube also allows people to seek and listen to all types of music and artist in seconds, a task that would have taken hours to do in the ole' CD store. Its easy for people to transfer preferred songs to a video format  and upload it to YouTube where everyone in the world can listen to, add to or take from. YouTube has changed the game of the music industry; it has created a venue that embraced and legalized  the new model Napster was trying to push "Free". People are able to listen to their favorite artist without buying a CD, turning on the radio, or leaving the comfort of their homes.  

     By 2009 YouTube had become new again. If one didn't make the cut on American Idol or X factor, he or she could sing their heart out in the comfort of their own home and post it on YouTube just like Justin Bieber who became a multi-million dollar artist.  Then, from the big to the little could access the clip. Later the increased use of social media would play a large role in creating the presumer and the new gate keeper.








As you can see from the graph above, the emergence of digital sales had quite the impact on the music industry and how everyone bought their music. The internet made it possible for anyone to purchase music literally anywhere they wanted to. This had a very negative effect on stores that only sold hard copies of music. In 2003 when iTunes was created, it created a whole new way to purchase and enjoy your music on the go. In the decade since Apple launched its iTunes music store, a host of digital music ventures have appeared, with varying degrees of success. iTunes remains the market leader but faces increasing competition from upstarts like Rdio, Spotify and Pandora, which went public earlier this year. "In 2011, digital music sales climbed past physical sales to take a 50.3% market share of all music purchases. In a continuation of a multi-year trend, digital sales increased by 8.4% from 2010, while physical sales declined 5%."



The graph above shows the sales of Vinyl, Cassette, CDs and Single downloads starting in 1975 all the way to 2010. From the graph it is clear the CD sales started dropping in the early 2000's which was when iTunes was made (2003).


The music industry has used newly emerging and existing industries (radio industry, movie industry, etc.) to help improve its own industry. It converged with other industries. The music industry has also helped to improve nearly all of the media industries.


Music Present Music Future Music group





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Comments (4)

Justin To said

at 7:29 pm on Mar 6, 2014

Thomas Edison making something to record the noise which evolved into records into cassettes into CD's

Lashauna Franklin said

at 7:37 am on Mar 22, 2014

Just adding a few things that I don't want to forget. I'll edit later when I get to a computer.

Jessica Ostley said

at 8:08 pm on Apr 3, 2014

I hope you like the formatting.

Jessica Ostley said

at 11:36 pm on Apr 4, 2014

I noticed for the past page here there's a warning message above telling us that it's over 50 kb and it's recommened we split it up to be under 50 kb I'm not sure how to do that if anyone can help over the weekend I think it might help with easier viewing.

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