Music is one of the oldest forms of arts that has pleased tens of millions of people throughout the years. In ancient times, the harp was considered the instrument of angels, while, in the Medieval Ages, the mandolin was the choice of minstrels. Back in the days, there weren’t any recording systems and technologies, so all the music played was live.
However, thanks to the industrial revolution at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, technologies developed massively, allowing us to listen to recorded music. Here is how we used to listen to music not so long ago.
A stroll in the past
It wasn’t until the late 19th century that the first device to record and play music on was invented. More accurately put, the brilliant Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, even though the sound quality was low and each recording only lasted for one play.
Soon after, the gramophone came along. It is credited as the first recording system that used flat disks or records and remained the instrument of choice in many houses throughout the 20th century. However, since it wasn’t powered by electricity, you had to wind it up in order to use it.
The graphophone represents another invention that used to record music with the help of glass records. It was only after some time that this instrument and its accessories evolved so that records were manufactured out of plastic in order to be mass produced. This leads us to vinyl records which became extremely popular in the 20th century and can even be used nowadays.
Cassettes increased in popularity in the 1970s and were widely used to both listen to music and record it. They contained a magnetic tape. After one side was done, you had to flip it over to listen to the other part of the tape. Throughout the 1980s until the beginning of the 1990s, mixtapes were listened on the highly popular Sony Walkman, the first personal cassette player.
If you are feeling nostalgic, you can still look for the best boombox on the market and play your mixtape in your personal interpretation of the famous “Say Anything…” scene to declare eternal love to your significant other.
Around the same time, in the mid-1990s, CDs appeared on the market and proved to become the best new gadget for listening to music, watching videos, or playing games. CD players even managed to beat the former boomboxes in popularity as they allowed you to skip directly to the track you wanted to listen to, without having to flip sides or push the fast/forward button.
CDs remained popular throughout the 1990s and at the beginning of the 2000s, until they were replaced by MP3 players, notorious iPod Shuffles, and, most recently, smartphones and tablets.