Entertainment and the Mass Media – Music
There is not an older form of entertainment than music. For centuries people have been entertained by artist’s abilities to create and produce music. Regardless of the affluence of a society music has played a part in every culture with the most basic form of music being the ability to sing. During music’s early history each separate culture created its own set of instruments and prior to the 17th century music was more modal than tonal. The creation of written music and the coming together of orchestral instruments centralised music that was now being shared by different nations.
As the world entered the 20th century there were three popular ways that people could enjoy music. They could either purchase it, they could go out and listen to a live performance, or they could simply switch on their radio. People had been performing live music for a long time. The travelling country fares would have musical performers, but so would local taverns. In the larger towns and cities the creation of the music halls provided venues for the performers to play, and classical had been performed in British and German universities since the late 17th century.
The invention of the radio meant that music could be heard in people’s households. The first time that music was heard on the radio was on January 13th 1910 in New York City when Enrico Caruso and other opera stars were broadcast singing live. Many of the top musical acts would take to film so that songs could be heard. Performers like Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley became as well known on the screen as they were on the radio. Their musical reputations only really gathered once the record was invented and they received extensive play time on the radio.
Broadcasting of music on the radio became more popular once the vinyl record was invented. This followed the Second World War and now radios were able to broadcast music without having to organize a live performance to play. In Britain the creation of the different radio stations on the BBC in1967 were inspired by the offshore pirate radio stations. Instead of one station there was now a variety of stations that brought different music genres to the listener’s attention.
Radio Caroline broadcasts were on a boat stationed 4 miles off the coast of the country. Many of its presenters such as Noel Edmonds, Kenny Everett and Johnny Walker went on to have long careers on mainstream radio. The creation of music charts in different countries around the world brought the top musical acts to the world’s attention. The 1960’s was a decade when numerous bands were created producing various types of music and the public demanded more music from these new artists.
As the 20th century came to an end technology created various different ways that music could be recorded and purchased by the paying public. The vinyl record was soon joined by tapes, discs and today digital music can be hard online. The music became smaller, more mobile and also of a higher quality. Today’s music is a billion dollar industry. There is now wide spread availability of every genre of music through peoples phones, computers, radios, televisions and music players. However, it has not taken away the attraction of watching live performances.
The 21st century musical acts still organize long tours to various parts of the world so that their followers have the opportunity to see them in action. Summer music festivals are as popular as they have ever been with the top bands as keen to headline venues such as Glastonbury. Despite the comfort of listening to music in the comfort of their homes people are more than willing to brave the weather and be part of music festivals where they have the opportunity to see the bands playing live.