8 Pieces of Gear that Moved Music Forward - Trust Me Shops

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8 Pieces of Gear that Moved Music Forward

8 Pieces of Gear that Moved Music Forward

B&H explora - All posts
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Music cannot exist in a vacuum. I’m not just talking about the laws of physics here (those actually do prohibit sound from traveling across a literal vacuum). I’m talking about influence: Technological advances throughout the years have had a palpable effect on the music we hear. In this article, we’ll list eight pieces of gear that have undeniably changed music.

1. The Edison Phonograph

First things first: We must start at the beginning, with the Edison Phonograph. Invented in 1877 out of little more than tin foil and a crank, the phonograph changed everything. Every single modern avenue you have for enjoying music starts here.

The device worked for recording and playback, encompassing both microphone and speaker in a single device. So, without the phonograph, you wouldn’t have the means to record music, or listen to it, outside of an acoustic performance.

The ramifications of this technology extended far beyond the gear itself: As David Byrne pointed out in his book, How Music Works, musicians were finally able to hear what they sounded like at a remove, and this changed the way they made music.

The example he offers is that of an opera singer. Early opera recordings display an entirely different style from what we associate with opera today. Byrne argues the modern trappings of opera—the vibrato, specifically—is a reaction to hearing oneself, a sort of insurance to make sure one is hitting the note at least some of the time.

This digression hopefully illustrates how revolutionary the Edison Cylinder was, from the technology of recording, to the sound of music itself. When musicians were finally able to hear themselves after the fact, it changed the way they sounded.

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