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Technological Advances in Music: Music Industry Dances to Technology's Tune

TMCnet Feature

September 16, 2013

Technological Advances in Music: Music Industry Dances to Technology's Tune

By Drew Hendricks

Are you thinking that something is wrong with the lead of this article?

You read it correctly.

We usually tap our foot to music, but the entire music industry is dancing to the tunes of advanced technology. As you read further you will find the reasons that support the article’s title.

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Technological advancements in music

Before the iPod was first introduced in 2001, had you ever guessed that it would be possible to carry your entire music collection in your pocket?

Take a few steps back into the history and stop at the launch of the Walkman. Was it not the then-wonder of the world when you walked-the-music with those audio tapes running back and forth?

We are not yet done with our time machine as we have to rewind back a few more years to stop at the time when LP records brought beloved singers to the drawing rooms of many music lovers?

Thus, for almost a century by now, technology has been carrying the music industry to the next level.

The tussle between music and technology

The history of the music industry brings out certain glaring incidents in which it rallied against technological developments. For example, the legal suite between Napster – the music sharing network – versus RIAA (Record Industry Association of America). There were also a few kneejerk reactions from the music industry on the introduction of audio cassettes and compact discs. But most of the dust settled when the music lovers started embracing the technology with love and affection. By demand, consumers have forced music companies to accept the machinations.

The multi-disciplined development of music technology

So far we’ve spoken about music storage devices alone, but the story goes beyond them. Music is a multi-disciplined branch of fine arts. It includes instruments, recording and sound technology and more, and the evolutions in technology have touched upon all these components by carving them to their perfection.

Some of the most famous developments are:

  • Synthesizers that hit the markets during 1980s
  • Digital software tools that add excellent sound effects have converted many music albums to become chart busters in no time
  • Open source music recording and editing tools have turned homes into personal studios
  • MP3 recording has revolutionized the quality of music even in the challenging arena of online streaming, where the quality could get affected by the bandwidth problems
  • Websites like TakeLessons have created an environment wherein music teachers and students can meet in online classes

Influence of technology on music industry

Bjork has released songs as an iPad app while the concert tickets were being sold through websites and smartphones. Mobile network operators offer free or unlimited music downloads and music on demand has become the most successful marketing strategy.

These are the few examples as to how the music industry has gained from technological developments. Collaboration, selling and promotional activities have gained momentum with the Internet and digital technologies.

The future of the music industry is highly promising; with technological advancements like high-speed download and car stereos that could connect to online music stations here now, what will be next?

Edited by Alisen Downey

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