The report basically contains the details about music technology. Music technology like all technology is complex in nature. There is always scope of development in the music technology. This research will be carried out basically on the problems with music technology and how music technology is impacting the level of music. Like every coin has two faces, similarly music technology also has two faces, i.e. positive and negative. On one side, it is creating the digitized music which is liked by the music lover, on the other hand it is destroying the real music. Thus, there are various facts which should be discussed about the music technology. This literature review analyses the music technology present in the market and will conclude the results of these technologies in the real world.
Most of the industries today are trying to reduce the complexity of the technology but still as the modern technology and the gadgets are growing, the technology itself is becoming more complex (Hughes 2004, p.1). Technology is really tough to understand and define. Contradiction always remains present in any type of technology. Music technology is also one of the part of those technologies. There are various successful example of music technology present in the world. It was the same even at the time of 1940s when the technology was at the developing state. The experiment for bouncing and adding track in disk recording was successfully done in 1940s. “Lover (When You’re Near Me)” The famous album of 1948, was recorded by the above technique. This music was the result of combination of 8 guitars. First 8 track recorder was developed in 1955 and sold in 1957 by David Sarser at a cost of $10,000. It was then named as “Octopus” (Recording History, 2014).
Actually, there are four divisions in any music technology. These are, fundamentals, instruments and interfaces, recording and distribution, languages and representation. Each division has its own significance. Fundamental includes the basic or tradition of the music. This includes the technology related to the digital representation of the music (Ecoff, 2000). Coding music technology is one of the important part of music technology, coding is required in each division of the technology. Instrument and interface use the coding for designing the interface. Coding of designing music interface provide a different look to the music technology. When we play music in the software, a program of software comes on the screen. Whatever is watchable on the screen is under the interface. The efficiency of interface depends on the ease to use. It also depends on how easy all the programmes are accessible on the screen.
Instrument technology includes the use of digitized instruments like electric guitar, electric drums and synthesizer etc. As these instruments are described, here coding is actually related to the designing of the instrument. Recording and distribution includes the technology related to the final storing of the music. As recording is taken into the consideration, a full planned and designed coding is required in the backend to store the music. Music is prepared for the distribution in the market. Various changes in the music have been performed at this stage of the music production by using the computer and software to enhance the effectivity of the music. Even this software is the result of coding. Representation and language technology includes the virtual music players which play the music and the dubbing technology. For music and dubbing also a software programme result of coding is required.
There is a particular problem of using technology in art. New technologies have always been exploited by the arts for creative agendas. The first problem that is tracked by the use of music is that the success mainly depends on the technology operator more than the artist which means that the aesthetic criteria defines the success more (Warde, 2000). The other problem is that the original work of the composers and the producers can’t be seen. Coding of course has created various positive aspects and work easy but these negative aspects are also the result of coding.
After the invention of recorded music, sound and the technology, various new inventions from phonograph to mp3 music have been done. Currently, the trends in the music technology have been changed to digital recording (Theberg, 1997). Coding of digital music is very much advanced thus produce a real effect of music. Song mixing, mastering and recording has been performed by sophisticated software like Neundo and ProTools. These coded tools has made easy these things, otherwise there were various additional instruments also required. The various innovations like iTunes, digital Jukeboxes and mp3 players are changing the effect of music in the world.
Today, computer is playing a central role in the music process. The digitization and arrangements of sound through the computer really generates a better impact on the listeners. The concept of play back singing has come after the digitization of the music. The case of “grey Tuesday ” on 24th February 2004 can’t be forgotten when more than 300 blogs and websites had done an online music protest for supporting various music files generated by Brian Burton (a famous hip hop artist) (Warde, 2004). Actually, “The grey album” were an innovation of the hip hop mix by rapping the lyrics of “Black Album” and “White Album”. Thus, the name was given as “grey album”.
Nowadays, the most expensive parts are used by the recording studio (Theberg, p. 231). People have become the habituated of quality music generated through the music technology. No matter how much touching the lyrics of songs are or how well the music was played, people don’t like the song without digitization of the music. A proper software installed in the computer helps in creating high quality music (Middleton, p. 66). The above technology is the result of the power of microprocessor, computer interfacing and recording software. The software packages provides various kind of facilities to the professionals to create high quality music, the main facilities are merging, cutting, pitch setting etc.
Even for the consumption of music, computer works as a central device. Hard disks have the ability to store lakhs of unauthorized or authorized music. After the CDs and recording tapes, digital music has changed the choices of music in the people. Virtual players are the software which actually plays the digital music in the computers, mp3 players, mobiles and other devices. These virtual players are also designed with various facilities. These facilities provide the user to manage the quality of the music. User can create various playlists in single software according to his choices and save in his device. Playlist reduces the searching efforts and time for the music (Jones, 2000). The future will be much more advanced; the shuffle technology in the iPod will provide the facility of skipping from first music to another (Ross, 2004).
Visual aspects of the music have also created a revolution in the music world. It is really surprising that people can see the music. Musicians argue that sound was visible after the music notation but the digital representation of sound is really a bit different. It has made the processing of music very easy (Ross, 2004). Digital representation of the music is the combination of ones and zeroes which can be adjusted very easily and effectively. Harmonies, melodies, versus and Chorus can be created just like paragraph in a word processor. The world of music has changed. Previously, the music directors and producers used to use their ears while today they rely on their eyes (Danny, 1999). Thus, the consumers today are not getting the music, they are getting the stream of zeroes and ones.
Looping and sampling is also an interesting technology. The case of grey album was the result of the same technology which used the sampling and re-arranging of the well-known music. The sampling provides the user an access to the libraries of sounds and instruments. If a musician doesn’t know to play violin, he can buy a CD of music samples of various reknown violin players and by looping them, can create his own sound (Morris, 2010). It is just like music without instruments. The use of pre-recorded material has reduced the use of music instruments. It is very true that the old music were legendary music but today, it’s the only technology that is working (Coleman, 2003). Musicians are using the combination of old melodies and today’s technology which is really impacting the world of music. Thus, the trends have changed from full music knowledge to the 50% music and 50% technology in creation of any music. Both should be perfect to influence the people.
The technology has entered in the music instrument also, like acoustic guitar to electric guitar, harmonium to synthesizer and traditional drums to electrical drums. Acoustic guitar was just a bunch of string while the electric guitar is the combination of the string and the digitization. The digitization of the string sound produces the result of electric guitar. If we see today’s trend, electric guitar digitizes the string sound in hundreds of other sounds. Same thing happens in case of synthesizers and the electric drums (Bull, 2000). After the digitization through the instruments, the digitization of the music is performed on the computer which means digitization of the pre digitized sound.
Music processing is divided into four parts, all the four parts are associated with some kind of technology. These technologies have really changed the view of the listeners towards the music. After analysing the technology in depth, it is found that the digitization process is the heart of each type of music technology. Technology really has reduced the originality in the music. Everything we hear is just a stream of zeroes and one. At a certain level, the technology has really influenced people but if we consider it at the level of art it is reducing the impact of real art.
Recording History (2014). The history of recording music [online]. Available From: https://www.recording-history.org/HTML/8track3.php [Accessed: 19th March 2015].
OCW (2013). Music Technology [online]. Available From: https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/music-and-theater-arts/21m-380-music-and-technology-contemporary-history-and-aesthetics-fall-2009/lecture-notes-and-videos/MIT21M_380F09_lec01.pdf [Accessed: 19th March 2015].
Bull, Michael (2000). Sounding out the city: Personal Stereos and the management of Everyday life 1st ed. Berg: Oxford Press
Coleman, Mark (2003). Playback: From Victrola to mp3, 100 years of music, machines and money New York: De Capo Press
Danny, Michel (1999). Sound Recording
Jones, Steve (2005). Music and the internet Popular Music 19(2) p. 217-230
Theberg, Paul (1997). Any sound you can imaging: Making music/ consuming Technology 1st ed. Hanover: Wesleyan
Werde, Bill (2004). Deffiant Downloads Rise From Underground. New York times 25th February 2004 p.3
Ross, Alex (2004).Listen to this. The New Yorker 16th February 2004 p. 146-155.
Morris, Jeramy (2010). Developments in Music Technology: Hybrid Activity in Popular music 15 (2). 91-101
Eccoff, Samuel (2000).Fundamentals of Music Technology. 2nd ed. New York: Secret Society Production.
Middleton, Chris (2003). The Complete guide to digital audio. Boston: Muska and Lipman Publishing
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