CSP 64 - Spring 2019

From the Phonograph to Auto-Tune...

Author: john_Li366

Menace of Mechanical Music Response

In the article, Sousa states that he” foresee a marked deterioration in American and musical taste, an interruption in the musical development of the country and a host of other injuries to music in its artistic manifestations, by virtue—or rather by vice—of the multiplication of the various music-reproducing machines.” The reasoning behind his statement is that Suosa believes that machines took aways the emotion and soul of the music. I do not agree with Sousa because I believe that

the soul and emotion of the music lies beneath the music and the lyrics but not the ways of performing. Although playing music through speakers take aways the aspect of live performance, it does not take away the message behind the music of singers and song writers. Sousa also mentioned that the music devices were reducing the amount of children and adults learning about music through instruments schools. Instead, he claims that while people could hear music without actively playing it, they became indifferent to musical instruments and less and less people will be able to play musical instruments. I personally also do not agree with this reason because I believe that these machines increased the accessibility of music. The machines allowed the general population instead of only the rich and the privileged  to listen and learn about various kinds of music at a reasonable amount of money. This way, the market for music will expand and more songs and singers will appear to fill the need of the market. 

Special Collections

The item I chose from special collections was the original Fantasia story from the 1940’s. I picked this object because I have seen the Fantasia water show at Disney before, and it was the only object in the special collections that I was familiar with.  It has been a while since I have seen it, and I don’t remember much of the story other than the brooms coming to life, and seeing the pictures of that in the book was very cool. Also, the book seemed new, even though the tag said it was from the middle of the 1900’s.  I was wondering if the book was actually kept in that kind of condition, or if the book was fixed as it got damaged over the years. I also noticed that the book was a lot bigger than books are now, which I think shows that books have changed in the way they are made since this book came out.  The books that were super old that we were not allowed to touch were the biggest, and with this as an in between from then to now shows that books started to be printed in different styles as time goes on.

Openeer Papers

A phonograph was the first invention in the world that can record sound and play it back to the audience in the right order. People at the time were amazed by the technology and used it for many purposes. In the first two chapters of “WHAT  MR. OPENEER HEARD ”, the author emphasized that people enjoy phonographs a lot as an entertainment. People used phonographs to listen to music with friends which wasn’t possible before without a live band and singer. People could freely choose songs and singers at anytime, locations and can repeat it over and over again. The author also mentioned in the article that phonographs were also used to preserve memories of the past and the deceased. Aside from a form of entertainment, phonograph was also used for dictation at offices. Phonographs allowed workers to work more efficiently which helps companies save money, Despite its similarities to the recording nowadays, phonographs had many flaws in its designs which were limiting its potential. First, the author mentioned people’s attempts to use phonograph to give a speech. All the attempts failed because phonographs simply could record and play back words at a accurate, fast and loud rate. The limitation of phonographs were also due to their fragility. All the recordings were done on a wax cylinder which is very fragile and easily damaged. Although phonographs were somewhat useful for people at the time for entertainment and dictation, it certainly did not live up to people’s expectations when it first came out.