The Music Industry and the Growth of Audio Recording

Man using digital multi-channel soundboard

Man using digital multi-channel soundboard

People today can’t remember a time before the music industry was an enormous force that churned out performers and performances at a prodigious rate. The development of the modern music industry and the way in which it influenced many other trends is interesting, particularly the ways in which several different trends interacted with one another.

For one thing, audio recording technology got its beginnings during the Industrial Revolution, during a time period in which technological innovation and progress was being trumpeted from every street corner. The first audio recording of a human voice dates back to 1877. From that point up to the 1890s, the phonograph went through several different developments as Thomas Edison competed with many of the other pioneers of the day.

The juke box, a device that is still used today for the sake of nostalgia, was born in 1890. The juke box and similar devices managed to stay popular and generate income even during the economic difficulties that many people would go on to experience at the turn of the century.

As the twentieth century dawned, recording technology was bolstered by several other factors. For one thing, the development of the movie industry helped make developments in recording technology profitable in the first place. Silent movies had actual musicians playing the background music on piano during the movies themselves. It was only natural that adding music to the movies themselves would soon follow. The growth of the movie industry only helped fuel the growth of the music industry and the sound recording industry in general.

Jazz music and blues music achieved an unprecedented level of popularity, and these music styles went on to influence rock and most of the genres that would continue to dominate today. Naturally, the fact that the modern music fandom was more or less born during this time period helped make recording devices profitable in a way in which they never would have been otherwise. Magnetic tape recording was one of the most important inventions in this category. Stereos gave way to cassettes, and these set the stage for the digital revolution that is continuing today.

Cultural and technological developments have always managed to influence one another. Naturally, this journey is still ongoing today. The Information Age is continuing to have a profound effect on music, and visa versa.


Posted under Sound Engineering