Imagine a time where music was a fleeting treat, something that is anticipated for a long period of wait, and experienced in a short span of time. Before the twentieth century, before all the technology appeared that made our lives easier, listening to music is a social event. People gather to listen to singers, operas, choirs in churches, and orchestras, and enjoyed music together.
With the invention of phonograph came the new trend of people listening music at the privacy of their own homes, but it was still a luxury by then to own one. And it also changed how music is made. When people did not have the phonograph yet, music was written in such a way that it will be enjoyed for a long time, so composers wrote long symphonies and operas for the enjoyment of the audience. A phonograph can only hold a couple of minutes’ worth of music, that is why musicians changed the way music was written by shortening the songs and only showcasing the melodies that would generally stick to the audience. Because of the birth of this technology, songs have become the short snippets that last 3 to 4 minutes.
Another technology that changed the course of music is the radio. Because of the price of the phonograph, there are still people who cannot listen to music at home. Thanks to radio waves, the likes of Elvis Pressley and the Beatles were discovered and became viral. After that, the pace of technology became even faster with the invention of the Walkman. Music is no longer a shared intimate event by a family but it became personal since the Walkman made it possible for music to be transported to your room or outside the home.
Today, music has become digital and readily accessed. Even going to a concert by Blake Shelton, the Maroon 5, or Lady Gaga will only require a person to click their original site to see the concert dates and venues. If you missed their concert, you can easily download their songs online or listen to them through various websites.
History of music shows us that even if technology exists it does not mean music has been radically changed. It still maintained its original purpose and that is to entertain.