Monday, November 8th, 2010...10:33 pm

shift from public to private listening

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     The invention of the cassette player and the walkman has undoubtedly changed the way people listen to and enjoy recorded sounds. The walkman has created a way for individuals to enjoy music. They no longer have to play music on the family record player, instead they can enjoy the music of their choice on their own with the use of head phones.
     The invention of the walkman shifted the music industry from public listening to a more private experience. This invention has had a major impact on the way we listen to music to this day. We constantly see people walking around with headphones plugged into their ears, what they are listening to is unknown to everyone around them. This has allowed people to experience artists works at all times. Although we no longer see people walking around with walkmans because they have become outdated as every technology is sooner or later. Instead we see people with their mp3 players and ipods attached to them at all times, like an extension of their bodies.
     This availability has allowed for a stronger connection between artists and fans, as well as a tool for the creative minds. Being able to access music on your own desired time and schedule, allows individuals to select their personal playlists. They can listen to a track as many times as they want, giving them the ability to notice the different instruments and recording techniques used.
     Overall, the shift from public to private listening has positively impacted the music industry. It gives people the individual experience allowing them to discover what type of music they enjoy. It has also influenced the creation and invention of various styles of recorded sounds.

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  • This is such an observant post– thanks! The one thing that I get stuck on with this shift, though, is the loss of a communal, public, musical experience. So much about the culture and politics of various musical scenes from the past (disco, early hip hop, punk, grunge) had to do with the community that enjoyed that music together. If we are all plugged into our private devices, will we ever be able to create a meaningful, shared scene? Privatization can be wonderful on an individual basis, but we may lose something in the process that we can’t download from iTunes….

  • In class we talked about the inventions of music devices for recording music and then playing it back. From the images we looked at in class, it looked like these players were sold to be played in front of a crowd. They were probably used at dinner parties or get togethers. Back then, people enjoyed music together as a group. We obviously don’t feel the need to share our musical experiences with others which is why we favor our private music players vs. shared music. When my family took a road trip down to florida this past winter break, the radio was turned off the entire time. All of my siblings were each plugged into their own ipods or mp3’s in the back seat. It could be because we each have our own style and favorite genre choice or it could be because we each just enjoy the privatization of our own musical experience.

  • I can not tell you how many times I have been told that I’ve been seen on the street and someone tried to say hi to me. It wasn’t that I was ignoring them; I was that I was so involved into my I-pod, that I didn’t even notice them. We definitely are a part of a new “portable” generation. There are benefits to having music at your fingertips-one being the extensive collection of songs you can hold onto forever that you can carry at all times. However, I feel we are shutting the world out and drowning into our portable devices. It is very rare you find someone living in a major city that does not own some sort of MP3 player. I won’t lie, I am victim to it. I do feel that living in a city influences this, though. What better way to forget about the hour commute on a bus/train/subway than by listening to an album to kill time. Better yet, it drowns out the obnoxious ‘cat calls’ and ‘whistling’ while walking to work in the morning-sorry guys, I doubt you can relate to this one….

  • Hi! I could have sworn I’ve visited this website before but after going through a
    few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often!

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