Technology and the Changing Social Role of Music • The role that music plays in society is largely a function of the music-related technology that is used. • The role of music in American society has changed dramatically in the last 100 years. • Recording technology is integral to the way in which we now perceive, listen to, create, and function around music.
Music in a World Before Recordings • Music was inextricable from the live performance. • Listening to music was fundamentally a social activity.
The Dawn of an Era: The First Recording Technology • Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) invented a system for recording sound vibrations as engraved grooves in a wax cylinder in 1877. • Shellac discs are developed in 1890’s and become a standard medium for recording • and distribution.
The Dawn of an Era: The First Recording Technology • As recorded music developed a significant base of interest, record players became common household objects and listening to recordings at home became a social activity.
Early Musicians and Recording Technology • Recordings become a successful and lucrative market for composers. • Composers would need to cater their music to the constraints of the recorded format to become more commercially viable.
Performers and Early Recording Technology • As the recording industry became a more important market, musicians around the turn of the century catered their technique to fit the limitations of recording technology • Bing Crosby and Les Paul use tape recording and splicing to create “perfect” radio shows by editing out mistakes.
The Studio as a Creative Tool • Pierre Schaeffer (1910-1995) pioneered the use of recording equipment and media in creating new compositions out of various pieces of sound.
The Studio as a Creative Tool MultiTracking • Layers (Tracks) • Equalization • Levels
The Studio as a Creative Tool Studio Effects • Reverb Diffusion of sound that creates the impression of distance, space, or sustain. • Delay Timed repetition of a sound that creates an “echo”. • Flanging A “swirling”, undulating effect created by off-setting a sound from itself. • Equalization/Filtering Used to control the volume of certain frequency ranges in a sound.
The Studio as a Creative Tool • Bands such as The Beatles pioneer the use of studio technique as a compositional method in the mid-60's. • Music becomes valued as a listening “experience”. • The “new sound” of popular music becomes the foundation of a music-oriented youth culture movement.
Amplification Technology and Performance • Performers such as Jimi Hendrix use amplification technology as a creative element of their live music. • This expressive use of technology in performance has become an iconic part of American culture.
Studio Technology and Musical Performance • DJs (Disc Jockeys) manipulate existing recordings of sound and music in their live performances.
Digital Technology and the Future Role of Music • Amateur recording technology has continually become more powerful, affordable, and easy to use. • There are many means of music distribution available to companies and amateurs. • CD’s • Digital computer formats