Monday, January 7, 2013

Music Makes The World Go Around

 Have you ever given much thought to music?

Today we don't have to; drag out the iPod; pull up a song. Don't like it? Dump it and pull up another. But that technology, through the iPod, is just over 10 years old. MP3? About 20.

Before that we had Tapes; Cassette; Reel to Reel and 8-Track. And of course before that albums and 45s. Or 78s. Or even further back, wax cylinders.

Before that? All music was live.

We have become accustomed to music being a constant soundtrack to our lives; our MP3 players; the radio or CD in the car; muzak piped in the stores and elevators; even coming through our TVs through the miracle of cable. Pandora coming through your flippin' cell phone!

Less than 100 years ago it wasn't so easy. You want a tune? Whistle it. Or Hum it. Or know somebody who who can play it on some instrument or the other. Sure; you could buy a Victrola in 1913; for $75.00. When the average year's salary was $1300. Two weeks pay; give or take a couple of hours. Plus records at a buck or so each. That one song would lose it's novelty real quick.

Dances in the rural areas were a godsend; a reason to get together and music to boot, provided all of the members of the band could get together.

You think a barbershop quartet sounds goofy? Compare it to no music at all. Sounds pretty good now, don't it? Ever wonder why you always see Uncle Ed with his guitar in old family photos? Because he brought the music.

Stop and think for a minute about how dependent we are on electrons for music today, and how few folks play an instrument. Every high school had at least one band back in the day. The official one that played at football games, and there were always 4 or 5 guys banging around in somebody's garage or basement, hoping to play the school dance some Saturday night.

There was also a community to be had when a band got together and a dance was in the offing.

Something that's hard to achieve with a pair of earbuds.

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