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History of the Music Industry

[Summary]History of the Recording Industry Beginnings: 1890-1900 The story of the sound recording industry is mostly a story of musical entertainment on phonograph discs for the whole period from the invention of the phonograph in 1877 to about the 1950s, whe


History of the Recording Industry

Beginnings: 1890-1900

The story of the sound recording industry is mostly a story of musical entertainment on phonograph discs for the whole period from the invention of the phonograph in 1877 to about the 1950s, when new technologies emerged. The major players in the industry were Victor, Columbia and HMV (which originally stood for His Master's Voice) until the end of World War II, and are still important today. These three companies all got their start in the 1890s, when the phonograph was still young. Thomas Edison's 1877 invention of the phonograph was followed by many imitators, most notably the "graphophone," which became the basis of the Columbia company. Both inventions used a cylinder record which captured sound in a groove. Just as the graphophone of 1887 borrowed many ideas from Edison, so too did Edison's "improved phonograph" of 1888 borrow back from the graphophone. Soon both machines were for sale or lease to the public. The primary market was intended to be businessman, lawyers, court reporters, and others who currently used stenography to capture important thoughts or compose letters. Although the sound recorder as a business machine has its own history, it is the entertainment uses of sound recording that made the biggest impact.

A Brief History of the Music Industry over the Last 10 Years | Ideas For Dozens

Recently, my college music professor, David Schiff, came to me to get my perspective on the subject of a class he’s putting together for this coming semester covering music from 1968 to the present. After thinking about the topic for a little while I had an amazing realization: the kids taking the class were all under 12 in 1998 when Napster hit. All of the events of the Online Music Wars we take for granted as universal knowledge and the latest news are, to some extent, ancient history for them. So, amongst other pieces of advice, I wrote him a a high level overview of the technological and cultural changes undegone by the music industry over the last ten years. Following an old piece of advice from Steve Yegge, I’m posting the main body of what I wrote here in the hopes that it may be helpful to others.

A brief history: Music industry versus file-sharing

Film industry bosses have told Newsbeat illegal downloading is costing them £170m a year.

They say that it's putting thousands of jobs at risk and will damage the quality of the movies getting made.

But the music industry has seen all this before.

It's been battling file-sharing for over a decade now.

Early 2000s

History of Record Labels and the Music Industry by Alex Cosper

History of Record Labels and the Music Industry
by Alex Cosper

2. The Music Industry: A Brief History

History of the Music Industry

The history of the music industry, or as it is more often known, the recording industry, is long and interesting. For the sake of time, I’ll give a brief overview, including some charts. Some…

Music business timeline
150 years of technology, radio, recording and music

The impact of technology on everyday life

Timeline: technology, record labels, publishing, people, music and events

Sources of information

The impact of technology on everyday life

Records as we know them were first sold in 1895 (the rotating disc was used until CD—there was even an early shellac disc which played from the centre outwards like CDs). Amplifiers followed a decade later (1907) but amplification for record players and radio didn’t arrive until 1925. Early amplified records were beyond most households and jukeboxes dominated USA record sales in the 1930s. The war boosted industry and communications but dampened consumption. Amplified record players arrived in every home during the 1950s and ‘60s and the first portable music player—transistor radio—in 1954. Stereo took hold in the late 1960s as corporate pop music emerged from the relentless consolidation of independent labels. In the early 1980s CDs launched the last and biggest phase of record sales. Finally, the overweight and over-priced physical album was ripe for competition and the download boom of 2000 was fuelled by a mass return to the cheaper single format.

A Brief History of The Music Industry

History of the Music Industry

A rough cut

Music in the 1940s | History of the Music Industry

“Some Enchanted Evening,” sung by Ezio Pinza in South Pacific, was the most popular song of the year, according to the Lucky Strike Hit Parade, which presented it for more than 20 successive weeks, heading the program 13 times.

Actually there were better songs than this in the Rodgers-Hammerstein score; three of them, “A Wonderful Guy,” “Bali Ha’i” and “Younger Than Springtime,” received adequate recognition from radio’s high tribunal.

Music Recording Industry: Background Information

Industry Definition and Overview

The music industry can be defined as the industry representative of firms that record, produce, publish, distribute, and market music. Within this industry four market leaders know as the “big four” have emerged: Electric & Musical Industries Ltd (EMI), Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group. These big four firms control 80% of the United States music market and 70% of the world music market estimated to be a $30 to $40 billion industry. Prior to December 1998, the “Big Six” dominated the industry as Sony Music and BMG had not merged and PolyGram had not yet been absorbed into Universal Music Group.

History of Music Business in Nashville | Visit Nashville, TN

The Music Business in Nashville - A History

Built On Radio

Many people trace the origins of Music City to the birth of Music Row in the 1950s or the birth of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1920s, but the truth is that Nashville’s affinity for music shaped the city even in the 19th century. Hymnal publishing started in the 1820s, and the years after the Civil War saw the formation of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, who achieved worldwide fame and performed for Queen Victoria. Then in 1892, work was completed on the Union Gospel Tabernacle, soon to be renamed The Ryman Auditorium. By the early 20th century the Ryman had earned a reputation as the “Carnegie Hall of the South” for its wide-ranging and sophisticated programming, spearheaded by general manager Lula Naff. The greats of the age, including Paderewski, Enrico Caruso and John Philip Sousa performed at the Ryman, which also staged operas and old-time music shows. Its eclectic approach pointed to Nashville’s rich and wide-ranging musical future.

Music Industry


MUSIC INDUSTRY. The music industry involves the production, distribution, and sale of music in a variety of forms as well as the promotion of live musical performance. People arguably have bought, sold, and bartered music for as long as it has been made. Street singers, roving minstrels, broadside sellers, and traveling music teachers developed makeshift grassroots music industries that differed more in scale than in kind when compared to the modern music business.

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