Technological Advances in Music and Its Effects

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“Technological Advances in Music and its effects”
In the early years of music, musicians performed on stage with live bands and orchestras to the locals in the community. Their music consisted of many harmonies and rhythms that would relax the mind and ease stress. Their classical style of music had more of a string type sound, in comparison to the rough and rugged sounds of today’s music. Did this rough music affect the way we hear things compared to their classical harmonic sounds? What technological advances in musical devices have caused these effects if there are any? Does music now affect the way we live compared to the music of the past?

Back in the day people had no means of carrying around music as portable devices. If you had missed the regular performance of a composer, you missed out on your chance of hearing any music. Today Americans thrive on music, and each year they are finding more and more ways to listen to their music. In the 1980s, the boom box was born. These large music machines could be seen on the shoulders of teenagers and young adults; it was the emblem of urban culture. As time progressed, the bigger and flashier these musical devices were, the better. All of the latest rappers had one, The Fat Boys, LL Cool J, and even Biz Markie. People would come from all parts of the city just to see who was break dancing to the “ghetto blaster,” as it was commonly called (“The Golden Age,” n.d). However, as the decade passed, so did the trend of the boom box. With the 90s came portable CD players, also known as disc men. The CD player was a more practical and convenient way to listen to music on the go. It was by far more portable than the 80s boom box. This personal stereo device came equipped with muff-style headphones, which covered the listener’s entire ear. The only things missing were two AA batteries and, of course, the CD. Musical technology was not limited to the CD player. Music continued to mobilize as people did, thus the MP3 was invented. MP3 players and iPods became the new wave of the future. On October 23, 2001, Apple introduced the iPod. The iPod weighed about 6.5 ounces and could hold up to 1,000 CD-quality songs. Within minutes, an iPod listener is ready to indulge in his or her favorite songs through iTunes. iTunes is a library through which listeners store music for their iPods through the computer. No more changing CD’s, batteries, or cassettes. This new device can hold up to ten hours worth of music and has a rechargeable battery (Apple, 2006). The iPod has upgradeable firmware to support future audio formats. Its small ear bud-style headphones not only produce quality sounds, but are also fashionable. Apple built these headphones with neodymium magnets to enhance frequency response and high-fidelity sound. Neodymium is a rare, silver earth metal, that when combined with iron and boron produces a super magnet (Apple, 2006). When placed in speakers, these magnets provide bass and enhance volume levels. One iPod is equipped with a 60-mW amplifier that delivers between 20 and 20,000 Hz frequency responses. These amplifiers produce crystal-clear high notes and deep bass sounds. A listener can deliver as much sound as their eardrums could possibly withstand with headphones like this (Apple, 2006). In comparison to music’s beginnings, headphones had no effect on the locals because they were not created yet. This was an advantage in my point of view because they didn’t have to worry about the distractions of music in their ears. Due to the absence of such devices, I believe that they were able to get more things accomplished. They were able to brainstorm more peacefully on how to better their community and the world. These small 60-mW amplifiers produced a better sound, some claim they can be damaging to the listener’s hearing. Audiologists have been cautioning listeners against playing music at high volumes since the 80’s (Science Daily, 2005). When...
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