CSP 64 - Spring 2019

From the Phonograph to Auto-Tune...

Author: ckeaunui

Menace of Mechanical Music Response

Personally, I do not agree with Sousa’s argument in this reading.  He mentions that “[he] forsee[s] a marked deterioration in american music and musical taste, an interruption in the musical development of the country, and a host of other injuries to music in its artistic manifestations….”  While he does have a point that the ability to record music with a machine will change the culture around music, I do not think that it is a bad thing. I think that the ability to record and sell music was rather a beneficial addition to the music industry.  This allowed more people to have access to music, storing of music, and increasing the size of the market, allowing musicians to more successfully pursue music as a full time career. Furthermore, to address his concern on copyright laws, I feel like that was an issue that we do not face today.  Now, everything is so connected that there is very little opportunity for anyone to steal another person’s work without getting noticed, and if this happens then the creator of the song will receive all of the revenue. It is so strict that even a small 15 second clip is enough for a person to lose all revenue off of their song.  I feel like this threat of losing all that money for such a small difference in their song is a big risk nobody wants to take. Of course, back then this was written it was much more difficult to catch people stealing other material since each city had different sets of artists, especially compared to now where an artist is known across nations rather than cities.  Copyright is no longer a serious issue we need to be concerned about, showing that this issue was able to resolve itself as time went on.

Special Collections: Fantasia

The object I chose while in the special collections was a book from Disney in the 40’s, which was the Fantasia story.  The reason this object stood out to me among everything was because one of my families traditions is to go to Disneyland every year, and watching the Fantasia water show that they put on each night.  Although everything in the special collections was very interesting, this is the one I picked because it has both a historical and emotional meaning to me. When flipping through this book, I was amazed at how well preserved it was for a book nearly 80 years old.  This is especially rare since this is a book made for children, and this alone would cause most of the books to be tarnished within the first month of owning it, however this book the pages were stiff, there were no folds or markings on the pages, and the binding was in amazing condition which makes me think that the owner of this book purchased it with the intent of keeping it in perfect condition for future display.  This book also shows how Disney has changed across the last 80 years, from the much more classic Mickey cartoons into the Pixar animated shows we have today. Personally, I prefer the older style cartoons, and being able to see a story the way Walt Disney intended for it to be was a very joyous moment for me. I also found it very interesting how the pictures in this book seemed to be drawn before the story was written, since the words are shaped around the pictures in a strange way rather than the more typical style of having a picture isolated on a seperate page next to the text.  Although this may not tell as much about history as most of the other pieces in the special collections, this one had the most meaning to me, and I found it very interesting seeing how the world of Disney has changed from its original state, to how it was when I was a kid, and finally ending up how it currently is.

Openeer paper response

I think that to throw a phonograph party today would be very different to how it was back when it was a new invention.  Now, there are many parties that people throw with music and I imagine it is a similar feeling to how a phonograph parties were back then, however now it would be much more unexpected to get an invite to listen to a phonograph, and seems more like an event that people who are into history or collectors items would attend. However, that being said, I think it would be very interesting to see how a phonograph works in person, and although my interest would most likely not match that of people back when this first came out, it would be cool to get to try it out myself.

One of the things that was very prevalent in the openeer papers was the idea of hearing back recorded voices of loved ones.   This of course would be very appealing to people because it is a way to remember someone close in more than just a visual way, by being able to hear them speaking, making it feel as if they are still around and in your presence.  It is a tool used to help mourning, and can be both a happy and sad thing to hear, but nevertheless it is a treasure many people hold onto dearly.  It is also a way to remember past times, such as when people were kids, and helps you remember what the past was like.  We have similar things today, such as home videos and baby pictures, and we still do look back at those occasionally to remember what it was like in an earlier part of our lives.