Music to your ears
As I catch the bus to work I see more and more people with head phones in their ears. Often I think to myself, what are they listening to? If I asked do they say “mind your own business” or do they tell me. Me being the shy type I will never know. At times I ask myself, if someone was to ask me would judgment be made. Depending at the time of question I may be labeled as a “victim of the 80’s. OK that I am. Speaking of the 80’s, I remember during secondary school I would walk around with a boom box blasting music for all to hear, including public transport users. How annoying to all those around me. Thank goodness through the ages, technology has changed the way music is delivered and listened too, so this got me thinking, does music actually exist in the physical form?
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), is one of the most recognized composers of classical and opera compositions. Most of his adult life was lived in Vienna and composed over 600 works. For the people of this era to enjoy his compositions they would travel far and wide to see the music being created.
The orchestra was the physical form of music.
Leaping forward just on 100 years technology was making it easier for the people to enjoy the creation of music by means of Phonograph Cylinders. Phonograph cylinders were the earliest commercial medium for recording and reproducing sound. Commonly known simply as “records.” In their era of greatest popularity (c. 1888–1915), the cylinder was played on a mechanical phonograph. The competing disc-shaped gramophone record system triumphed in the market place to become the dominant commercial audio medium in the 1910s, however commercial mass production of phonograph cylinders ended in 1929. This allowed the music to come to the people in mass and through the-passing-of-time records became the physical form of music.
Albeit records were a great form of playing music however were bulky and not the most practical. This led the real to real/open real to be invented in the 1930’s. The real to real tape recording is a form of magnetic tape audio recording in which the recording medium is held on a reel, rather than being securely contained within a cassette.
The reel to reel was the physical form of music.
Late 1960’s The Compact Cassette, often referred to as audio cassette, cassette tape, cassette, or simply tape was developed. Although originally designed for dictation, improvements led the Compact Cassette to supplant reel-to-reel tape recording in most non-professional applications. In 1986, digital audio cassettes (DATs) were first introduced, and many believed that this technology would take the place of the traditional and ubiquitous analog audio cassette tape.
By now you should be starting to see a pattern, music becoming smaller and less physical, from great Opera Halls in Europe to the humble cassette.
Now let’s go a little deeper.
In the 1980’s the Compact Disc (CD) an optical disc used to store digital data started to come to life. It was originally developed to store sound recordings exclusively, but later it also allowed the preservation of other types of data. Audio CDs have been commercially available since October 1982. In 2010, they remain the standard physical storage medium for audio. The CD and its extensions are very successful. This also incorporates the Digital Video Disc or DVD.
Come 1987 the MP3 was starting to be developed. MP3 stands for Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) Audio Layer III and is a standard for audio compression that makes any music file smaller with little or no loss of sound quality. In 1997, Advanced Multimedia Products invented the AMP MP3 Playback Engine, the first successful MP3 player. The History of MP3 I searched high and low for a picture of a MP3. Surprise, none to be found.
Now that we have gone through the 5 basic stages of how music has and is delivered to our ears, from great opera halls of Europe to now a simple click of a mouse and you receive the data.
Is music no longer physical and is the world a quieter place now that we listen to music through MP3 players?