How has popular music been affected by technology?

 

 

Digital technology has not changed music in slightest. The sounds that we all know so well could not exist without the instruments initially producing them. But replication and distribution of music were actually innovative features of the technology that overtook the production. Current digital hardware equipment and advanced software allowed producers to make all sorts of music in the studio, and amateurs with some simple software can make their own tracks. Yet only a couple of decades ago, “magic” could happen only in studios under the guidance of a producers or DJ, and today we already have some basic technology at home.

Half a century ago the first synthesizers appeared and empowered producers to create popular dance and electronic music that is a retro now. Today technological advancement is greatly associated with new genres like dubstep, techno, house, ambient etc. But electronic devices are not targeted at innovators only. Orchestral composers like Hans Zimmer create their heartbreaking symphonies merely using digital devices. They are efficient and produce high-quality precisely-copied instrumental sound replacing the entire orchestra.

While some composers (mostly those writing soundtracks) succeed at commercializing their music, we observe the clear trend towards the democratization of music. One still has to be a producer to record music in the studio, but millions of fans can try to copy their favorite music tracks at home. YouTube provides hundreds of videos on music production allowing fans to create amateur music that was impossible yet 20 years ago.

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