How Did Technology Change Music In The 20th Century?

Technically, music has been around for centuries. Humans have made sounds to communicate, celebrate, and motivate themselves since before we had written language. There are some who argue that what we call music is just noise, but others disagree.

Some say that music is inspired by nature and space, while other types of sound imitate the noises of the world around us. For this reason, many describe all songs as stories or metaphors of some sort.

Music has always evolved though, moving from one style to another. Instrumentation (how instruments are used) changes constantly, creating new genres along the way.

In the past hundred years, technology has played an important role in how musicians create and distribute their work. Computers allowed for more efficient recording techniques, while digital distribution makes it easier to share and access music easily.

Technology also enabled artists to produce and disseminate their art at a much faster rate than ever before. Artists no longer need expensive studios or large staffs to get their music out there!

This article will talk about five different technologies which have changed the way people listen to music in the twentieth century, and some examples of each.

Streaming changed

how did technology change music in the 20th century

Historically, music has been an important part of our lives. Since we learned to make sounds and songs are a form of making noises, it made sense to use music as a way to communicate things or enhance your mood.

Music was often used to motivate people to do things – like going shopping or exercising. It also plays an integral role in celebrating milestones and events, such as birthdays or graduation.

Today, however, with technology advancing at a lightning speed, the way that people consume music is changing rapidly. Online streaming services have completely transformed how people listen to music.

You can now access almost any song anywhere at any time for free! This has influenced the way that musicians produce their songs as well. More emphasis is placed on writing catchy melodies and lyrics, instead of needing to include musical instruments to appeal to others.

Overall, I think this changes for the better. As long as there is someone listening to your songs, then you’ve succeeded.

Vinyl changed

how did technology change music in the 20th century

Gone are the days when music was only available as digital files or songs you could stream via Spotify, Apple Music, or other audio streaming services. With the explosion of technology that has happened since the 1980s, there have been many different types of records used to play your tunes.

Vinyl is back – and it’s here to stay. Technically speaking, vinyl isn’t dead yet. But it will be hard to find a store that sells them anywhere near what they were like back in the day.

And while some people may argue that CDs are better than vinyl because you don’t need special equipment to listen to them, nothing can compare with the intimacy and feel that comes from an album you manually put into place and take out every time you want to hear something.

Nowadays, not everyone needs to experience this feeling. However, for those who do, vinyl is still very much accessible and even more affordable than ever before.

CD changed

how did technology change music in the 20th century

The first digital music player was the MP3, which allowed you to download 3-minute songs or albums for free before users began purchasing more expensive apps that could accommodate longer listening sessions.

In fact, many people still use mp3s today by downloading only one song at a time rather than buying an app that allows you to listen to several tracks simultaneously.

MP3s changed

how did technology change music in the 20th century

Before MP3 technology, listening to music was mostly done through CDs or vinyl records that you would manually insert into your device of choice. These devices had enough space for only one song at a time, so people made due with limited music experiences.

MP3 files are notated using something called MPEG-formatted audio which means they are composed of small chunks of digital information organized into frames. The software takes care of reorganizing these pieces and creating an experience for the listener.

Music produced via MP3 technology is widely accessible as it does not require expensive equipment nor do users have to worry about running out of room on their storage device.

Digital cameras changed

how did technology change music in the 20th century

A few decades ago, taking good pictures depended on having access to a camera with enough megapixels to produce nice-looking photos. The more pixels you have, the better!

The size of your sensor or film roll determines how many quality images you can take before having to reload. More sensors mean faster shots, and bigger films means longer lasting memories.

These days, digital photography doesn’t really limit you much anymore. Most smartphones now boast at least 8MP (megapixel) sensors and some even go up to 16MP. This is almost as good as a dedicated DSLR!

Smartphones are also getting larger, which makes it easier to take more interesting photographs. If you want professional level results, you can invest in a decent dSLR later on.

Film changed

how did technology change music in the 20th century

Before cinema, people gathered around art or books to watch stories that were written down on paper. Some even listened to storytelling via radio! It was not until 1908, when Emile Berliner invented an instrument designed for watching movies – the movie camera - that mass-entertainment story telling became possible.

The movie camera allowed for longer, more elaborate films with improved quality. Since everyone had access to one, film became a popular medium. People could now make their own movies and share them with others.

Many early filmmakers made use of the newly available technology to tell engaging stories that have since influenced many other genres. Films like The Wizard of Oz (1905), Gone With The Wind (1939) and Star Wars (1977) have left an indelible mark on society. They’ve inspired everything from fashion to music.

Music has incorporated styles and concepts lifted directly from blockbuster movies. For example, the song I Will Always Love You is a cover of Whitney Houston’s 1992 hit version of the same name. In it, she repeats the lyrics “I will always love you/So please don’t hurt me no more.”

That line becomes especially poignant because her lover just told her he wanted to be with someone else. This parallels the ending of most movie plots where the main character must learn to accept or reject their loved one as they move on with their life.

Painting changed

how did technology change music in the 20th century

Before the Renaissance, most people painted still lifes and portraits of religious figures or famous people. Artists did not strive to be creative, instead copying what others had done before them. During this time, artists mostly depicted stories that focused on religion or politics, with very little room for creativity.

In the 16th century, artistic styles began changing due to two main factors. First was the rise of humanism, an educational philosophy that encouraged students to study the works of past greats and learn from their techniques. Second was the Italian Renaissance, which inspired many aspiring artists to pursue creative expression and design.

During this period, artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo explored new ways to express themselves through painting. They experimented with light, proportion, and fluidity, creating unique designs that would come to define the way we look at art today.

Music also underwent some significant changes during this time. New instruments were designed to more effectively capture the sounds of nature and music. For example, the violin is shaped like a bow so it can produce soft notes and strong ones easily. The piano has five white keys (the middle one being black) so that when pressed down, each note has a gray tone between white and dark. This gives the player greater range of colors to create music!

Overall, these technological advances gave us newer, better versions of existing tools, making it easier to hone your craft and achieve your musical goals.

Illustration changed

how did technology change music in the 20th century

A lot of music is built around illustrations or examples to emphasize an idea or concept. If you’ve ever seen the song “Happy Birthday” with its iconic guitar riff, then you have experienced this.

Tiny melodies set up big lollipops, so musicians use them all the time. It is very common for artists to take popular songs and add their own little twists to make new versions of the songs!

By adding your own lyrics and/or chords, creating your own version of the song, we get a lot of hybrids that feature bits from the original source.

The Latest

What Is Musical Technology?
Music technology is an ever-expanding field that has applications beyond…
How Does Technology Affect The Music Industry?
Recent developments in technology have completely transformed our lives as…
How Does Technology Affect The Music Industry?
Recent developments in technology have left many wondering how much…
How Did Technology Affect Music Today?
Recording technology has come a long way in our lifetimes,…
How Has Music Changed With The Use Of Technology?
Technological advances have always been happening, but over the past…
How Did Technology Affect Western Music?
Over the last few centuries, music has evolved quite a…
How Has The Music Industry Been Impacted By Technology?
The music industry has been through many transitions over the…
How Can Rhythm Be Enhanced Using Music Technology?
Recent developments in music technology have allowed for new, interesting…


Privacy Policy

Terms and Conditions