History of Music in the Digital Past

The class for History of Technology was very interesting. Definitely, not what I expected. I was expecting a boring run of the mill history of technology, more along the lines of computers Steve Jobs etc. Instead we listened to Tito Puente known for his Latin Jazz music style. We discussed “dynamic range” how producers make songs louder in order to be heard better. The advent of the vinyl record changed the experience of music listening.  Music used to be a public event one would go to a bar, pub, speak-easy, or church to hear music, now you could listen in the privacy of your own home. The way in which Vinyl records work. The wider the groove the louder the sound will be. The problem with this however is that a record is only so big and can only produce a certain amount of loudness. According to psycho acoustics louder is better.

Vinyl records also offer better dynamic range than compressed CD’s or mp3s. Compression is the act of leveling out the dynamic range. Cd’s and mp3s are highly compressed to save space. Compression makes it a mindless listening experience, where if you are listening to live music or Vinyl records the dynamic range makes it more involved, you have to listen for the softer parts because it is not all at the same sound level.

The invention of the microphone created an artificial intimacy. You no longer needed to sing loudly in order to be heard. You could draw people in even if you had a soft voice, like Frank Sinatra.

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