Music Technology – The Evolution of Music

Today, habits have changed. We live in the age of the image, much information, and mass consumption. With a little historical review, we will first see how technology contributed to the evolution of music.

Historical retrospective of music technology

Around 1900 Edison managed to store telephone messages and make the reproduction of the recorded voice a reality. Then ten years later, Bell and Berliner introduced us to the first 12 cm diameter records that turned at 150 revolutions per minute in the phonograph or gramophone.

In this way, the beginning of the vinyl records that we know to this day is made with the only difference that, at first, they were one-sided. In 1904, Odeon created the double-sided discs, thus doubling their duration.

What we know as a record player is essentially an electric gramophone and was the result of the development of technology with the appearance of electric motors and electronic amplifiers.

In 1910, the first headphones operating with moving iron transducers appeared. This particular type was very popular in the US Navy and called centers at the time, moving on to radio, where it was used until the 1950s.

Music Technology

In 1979, Sony changed the way we listen to music. The then emerging Walkman is an almost pocket-sized portable music device that allows the consumer to listen to their favourite music wherever they are.

At the beginning of the 80s, the appearance of CD was a small, plastic disc that could hold up to 80 minutes of audio. More music in a smaller size than vinyl. CD will take six years to overtake vinyl and four years to replace the cassette. MP3 is still the most popular method of encoding digital audio. Its popularity was based on the fact that it significantly reduced the music file size.

The music industry’s battle with piracy begins with the above services, and the Internet allows users to download the songs they want for free illegally. In the early 2000s to late 90s, MP3 allowed easy access to music over the Internet, with Napster and Limewire services and several others becoming very popular. In 2001 Apple’s first iPod would once again change the history of music, influencing how we listen to music.

Cloud Music

music technology

Music is now on every digital device connected to the internet. With the evolution of internet connection speed, now everyone has access to music.

Cloud services such as Tidal, Spotify, Google Play Music, Apple Music, and many more allow users to have their favourite music everywhere without downloading a file or buying a physical product. With a monthly subscription or even free in some cases.

New genres of music

Throughout this period of historical review, as far as music technology is concerned, we understand that new types of music were created, such as jazz, reggae, rock, rap, pop, etc. Nowadays, we have electronic music, metal, and rap, but more significantly, types of music with various cultures were harmonized with the help of technological progress.

The future of music

The future of music through technology is exciting. First, algorithms already help compose after training in music theory. By extension, there are already AI-powered music creation platforms like Witness Jukedeck, acquired by TikTok for an undisclosed amount in 2019.

There are platforms like Soundfull, and Diaa El All, which allow the user to create music with some factors like time and speed of the music. Therefore, some algorithms will enable this and give this possibility to the user and many others using various factors in combination with music theory.

Music in Metaverse

Spotify, the world-famous music streaming service, has announced its entry into the metaverse by introducing Spotify Island. Spotify’s digital island, in the Roblox game, will allow users to play games, make music, interact with avatars of famous artists and explore themed islands, depending on the music they prefer. The first themed island that visitors will be able to explore is dedicated to K-pop and is called K-Park.