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A musical instrument, such as the guitar, is a piece of music technology. According to reading packet #3, in Western art music, instruments are categorized into families based on their way of generating sounds, such as strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion (3-4). Instruments can be used in different aspects of life such as for entertainment, work, and even medicine. In able to achieve a specific purpose, instruments are used or played in a certain way by people to get the outcome they desire. For example, different instruments can be layered upon each other to create harmony and texture. Instruments may have been initially designed for the purpose of entertainment, but as time went by, the purpose of instruments also branched out. An example is the guitar, where some people play it for fun, while others who are musical artists play it for a living. Instruments including the guitar can also be used to help and aid people with depression or anxiety, as learning how to play an instrument is a coping mechanism for some. Personally, I’ve had some experience with musical instruments growing up, where I learned how to play the violin in elementary school, and the clarinet in middle school.
Almost all songs include the use of instruments, and the piece of music I chose is a Chinese song called “给你给我“ (Gei Ni Gei Wo) by Mao Buyi. In the song, you can hear the use of a guitar, violin, piano and percussion. The instruments were layered upon each other and they harmonized with the singing of the artist’s voice. This influences the song itself because it helps set the beat and the mood, and connect the music. Below is the link to the song on Spotify.
A soundboard, or mixing console, is an electronic device used to mix audio signals, and is used in sound recording, sound reproduction and sound reinforcement systems. The console includes microphones, signals from electric or electronic instruments, and other devices. The soundboard may record either from analog or digital. The purpose of the mixing console is to process input signals with amplification and EQ, and to combine those signals in many different ways.
I can’t think of anyone that hasn’t used the soundboard in any other way than it was built to be used. I’ve never used this technology, for multiple reasons. Soundboards have been used in music recording since 1958 when EMI records installed one as Abbey Road Studios. One example I can give you for this is Queen’s Seven Seas Of Rhye, which uses many of the soundboard’s techniques.
The kind of music technology that I have chosen is a musical format known as CD’s. “CD” stands for compact disk and it is one of the many ways that music can be stored. They are a portable optical disk that can be used to store audio or digital data. A According to an article by itstillworks “https://itstillworks.com/how-much-can-a-blank-cd-hold-10377.html”, they can store a maximum of 700 megabytes of data or approximately 80 minutes of audio. They were first introduced in the 80s by Sony and Philips. Although their capacity is limited, they are still being mass produced for new artists today. The way CD’s work is by having a number of indents within it’s surface. The only way to play a CD is through a CD player. With this player, it shines a laser over the disk and it is able to read the indentations. The dips and difference in height is calculated by the shinning of the laser and then is transmitted into binary code where only a computer can read.
I myself have used CD’s in the past when listening to music that my parents had stored away. I’d place the CD in this machine that also played the radio and I’d listen to whatever my mom had at hand. Some people nowadays might say that CD’s are old technology while others may disagree. New and coming artists tend to release their albums and still have a vinyl or CD set available for purchase. An example of this could be the album “Harry’s House” by Harry Styles. He released this album earlier this year and made it available digitally, in Vinyl, and CD. The artists do this so their fans can be happy with what they have produced which then leads to more sales. All in all, it’s always for the fans.
The musical technology I chose is an mp3 player. An mp3 player is a device that plays digital audio files. The purpose of an mp3 player is to store music, and any other recordings. Furthermore, it allows people to then listen to this music and have access to it anywhere. Some people tend to download illegal music onto mp3 players which makes it illegal. I used to use an mp3 player a lot back in elementary and middle school. It was easy to access music without the internet which I found very convenient. You can download all types of music onto an mp3 player, such as rap, pop, jazz, and rock music.
A piece of music technology that is really popular today is Apple Music. “Apple music launched in 2015,”(What is Apple Music and how does it work?) Apple Music was design as a stream platform “including offline listening” Apple Music let’s you stream when you don’t have internet and that something I really like about it. In order for Apple Music to work offline some songs have to be downloaded or with an option that can make them available offline. there aren’t people that use Apple Music in a way that wasn’t designed for because I think Apple Music is really easy to use for people who are familiarized with the app. I do have experience with this technology I almost use it everyday to listen music that I like.
A pice of music that I choose is “Elsewhere” by EDEN I think this technology helps influence the artist more than the song, because Apple Music is just a streaming app in which I don’t think it affects the song at all. But since Apple Music it’s different from other streaming platforms the song can have some parts cutoff than from the original video. However it affects the artist by gaining more streams and more fans in some way.
Pocket-lint. “What Is Apple Music and How Does It Work?” Pocket, 4 Feb. 2022,
The piece of music technology that I chose to write about today is autotuning. Auto-Tune is an electronic device used by people who create music to alter the pitch or voices in songs. The purpose of this music technology is to change the sound. Producers can create different pieces with the same beat by adjusting the pitches with autotune. Anyone interested in doing this can easily download a system on their commuter that allows them to alter pitches, bass, and tempos. Anyone can get a hold of autotune software and try it out themselves. This music technology can be compared to photoshop. People can easily autotune their own voice to sound “better”. Many artists today get caught using autotune in all their songs. But there are some artists that use autotune to change their voice in a creative way. Some use autotune to change their voice while they sing a staple lyric in the chorus, at the start of the song with the purpose of being a good hook, or even as background music to give the song dynamics. I personally don’t have any experience with this technology but one of the artists I listen to uses autotune in a lot of his songs, it’s like his thing. Travis Scott uses autotune to make his voice sound faint and “far away” so there’s a change in dynamics when he actually starts rapping/singing the first verse or the actual chores.
The musical technology that I chose is the instrument, electric guitar. The purpose of the electric guitar is that when hitting the string, it vibrates over a pickup and then the vibration converts into an electrical signal that can produce types of vibrating sound sounds. Electric guitars are designed for many types of genres in the music industry such as, rock, heavy metal, pop songs and more. Also, the electric guitar has brought a huge change in American music by sounds it produces and varies of music you can make out of, so as much as I want to learn how to play this instrument, sadly I never had the chance to.
The piece of music I chose that uses the electric guitar is “Tomboy” by (G)I-DLE arranged, written and composed by the member Soyeon. The electric guitar played a major component to this song because the genre of this song is rock and this instruments made this song pop out more and makes the listeners/viewers immediately know what type of concept (G)I-DLE is going for. Lastly, here is the music video of “Tomboy.”
The capo, invented around the mid 1700s, is a small clamp-like device that essentially shortens the length of strings on fretted string instruments. Most commonly used by guitarists, a capos purpose is to clamp down on all the strings of your fretted instrument allowing the player to play in a higher pitch. Guitarists use a capo to change how high or how low a piece is played. Before the creation of a capo guitarist couldn’t really play certain songs in different pitches using the same fingerings.
A capo achieves its purpose by basically acting like a mobile nut to fretted stringed instruments. The nut is located at the beginning of the headstocks, and it holds the guitar strings in place, while canceling any vibrations passes the nut. For example, on a guitar, the standard tuning is E A D G B E from top to bottom on each open string, by using a capo we can clamp it somewhere on the fretboard and Essentially shorten it. This means we change the tuning of the open strings without actually tuning the instrument. Most people use it for its intended purpose, but the capo comes in many designs, materials, and shapes(especially over the last couple decades), it can also be used on any other fretted string instrument like the ukuleles, mandolins, mandolas, banjos, and bouzoukis.
As a guitarist and ukulele player, I have used a capo before. I personally don’t like using it as I don’t enjoy the feeling of having a shorter fretboard. The capo is also used a lot more in the pop genre, as capos can be used to eliminate the need to bar some chords. So as someone who plays a lot of classical music, no I don’t use it often nor do I like using it, but the device definitely works and is useful in many situations especially when trying to play the same piece/song in a different key.
Here’s a version of Pachbel’s Canon in D. In this video the player uses this technology to play the piece originally meant for piano and composed in D major. Using the capo on the second fret, the player is able to play the piece in D major. Without the capo he would have to either transcribe the piece for Dmj, or play it in C using the normal tuning. Essentially the capo is a powerful tool, because it allows a player to play the same notes/songs/piece in different keys and pitches
Throughout time, we’ve seen and learnt about how music technology has developed over the centuries from the rise of instruments to the rise of the phonograph. Today, our most utilized piece of music tech is streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple music, Youtube, Soundcloud etc). If you listen to music on your private time, then its safe to say we all use some type of streaming platform to accomplish our goal of listening to music. By having a countless number of songs on your device, WITHOUT taking up your personal storage, services like Spotify (my favorite platform) are able to deliver any song that comes to mind. Though, Spotify was originally known as a music streaming platform, today we see other purposes come about like podcasts or talk shows. Personally, I tend to prefer Spotify for official music because Soundcloud and Youtube sometimes have multiple recordings of the same song and some aren’t the best quality. However, I do use Soundcloud for unreleased music (Unreleased music is never on Spotify because Spotify needs official licensing from every record label for every song.
Spotify changed the way artists get their music out as well ass how we intake music. Famous singers from before Spotify’s time, such as Elvish Presly, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Bob Marley, etc are all easy to listen to on Spotify by the tap of a button. This helped the younger gen (Gen Z) get familiar with some old time artists, while retired artists found a way to keep restreaming their music and keep a sustainable income.
Here’s of an example of a song from 1977 that is famously known today through the use of our streaming platforms.
For my piece of music technology, I chose the Midi Fighter! According to the official Midi Fighter website, it is a “high performance line of controllers designed for serious DJs and musicians that need reliable instruments on stage and studio.” Hooking up the controller to the DJ’s laptop allows the buttons to be assigned a sound from the accompanying sound/drum kit. As far as I’m aware, there isn’t anyone out there that doesn’t already use it for its intended purpose, and I haven’t ever owned a Midi Fighter so I don’t have any experience with it.
The first name that naturally (almost instinctively) comes to mind when talking about the Midi Fighter is Shawn Wasabi, who is also featured prominently on the official website advertising the 64 version. He famously uses the Midi Fighter in his music videos, often only showcasing the controller and his hands as he creates the music on the spot. He has hooked up the buttons to be miscellaneous sounds, some which may be popular and easily-recognizable, to be remixed into the underlying track. Sometimes he has singers featured in the songs, like in his song “Otter Pop,” featuring Hollis. More often than not, Shawn’s music sounds electronic, which makes sense given the medium he’s working with. One of his songs that you may be familiar with is “i dip,” which has been used in a lot of Glade candle commercials recently!