[Pt.I~Proj.2] -Music and technology

How has technology enhanced your personal experience of music? What, in your opinion, have been the most significant technological advances in music, and what are their advantages? Are there any disadvantages to these developments? Make notes in your listening log.

There has been a few milestone technological advances in music which have greatly affected both mine and everyone else’s ability to enjoy music. The mechanical/chemical advances that lead to the ability to record music, first using vinyl and later using magnetic tape, lead to the possibility of preserving and spreading music on an unprecedented scale. The world would be a different place without any recording mediums. We would not have the access to such a vast amount of music from around the world and also from the past if we were solely relying on music passed from person to person or via sheet music. Our musical world would be smaller, much in the same way that our world would be smaller if we lacked modern means of transportation. However, just like with travel tourism this musical tourism has lead to a certain amount of homogenisation of music too with a loss of both regional and national flavour. A sort of musical Imperialism has resulted with kids around the globe all being sold the same 10 pop stars originating in the U.S whilst knowing very little of their own musical roots.

Electricity is another technological advance which as greatly affected the type of music we now have at our disposal. Electronic instruments and amplified electric instruments would simply not exist without electricity and nor would any type of other amplified devises such as speakers. Music would still only be performed in acoustically amplified spaces and could not be heard on the radio or any venues. This has also lead to a significant amount of noise pollution. It has been a high price to pay. These days we’re having to even protect our silence and designate spaces free of noise pollution.

Finally, the invention of computers, digital audio and the internet has propelled music even further into the future. It has made recording and putting out music a much more democratised process. Even though arguably this has somewhat lowered the standard and quality of the output available… it has unquestionably lead to a situation where it is much harder to make a living as a musician. There is too much choice and too much music is available for free. People are not getting paid for their hard work.

bjork digital