The elements behind music production has evolved greatly over the years. From the beginning of recording music with Edison’s phonograph to the streaming services that we have now, every innovation has made a deep impact on music production and the music industry as a whole. Let’s walk through a few of these inventions and how they impacted the society around them.
In 1877, Thomas Edison created one of his favorite inventions, the phonograph. Edison cracked the code of how to record sound with this revolutionary invention. He found a way to record the vibrations of his voice using a needle onto a tinfoil tube. The phonograph was the first device that made it possible for people to listen to music in a different place than it was produced.
The first set of headphones was created by Nathaniel Baldwin, a Mormon, in 1910. Baldwin created these tin-can headphones and wasn’t expected much to come from them until the Navy ordered a bunch of his inventions and he made out very well.
The phonograph was revolutionary, don’t get me wrong, but it did restrict music producers to a shorter play time. That is what led to the invention of the 33 ⅓ long-playing record. The longer playing time was made possible by smaller grooves on which to record and playback the song. Columbia Records was the first recording studio to record on the LP record.
Magnetic tape was invented as a new way to record sounds and play them back, as a way to improve on the phonograph method of recording. This magnetic tape led to the invention of tapes and the tape recorder. Created by AEG in 1934, the Magnetophon K1 was the first tape recorder to be demoed and successful.
The original iPod, invented in the 70s, the walkman may not have been crazy revolutionary at the time but it was a stepping stone to bigger, better things. While records were still very popular, tapes were becoming more and more convenient for listening to pre-recorded music on the go. Sony was able to capitalize on the younger generation wanting to be able listen to music out and about.
Philips worked to create a disk to view optical images and they were determined to create a disk that could hold audio as well too. Receiving many awards for their invention, Philips was able to create a 12 cm compact disc or CD that was able to hold and playback audio sounds and therefore the CD was born.