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Millard 8,9,13

Filed under: Uncategorized — skkoumou at 3:41 pm on Friday, September 24, 2010

Millard 8,9,13

Empires of sound

When reading through this chapter, what I found most interesting was how the media during this era were all specifically linked together. I never realized or even thought for that matter, that the top media studios/giants today came out of the “Empires of Sound”. They set up the foundation for what we have today, and it is mind blowing when you think about what technology they had to set it up. I think of it basically like this: the companies basically had a monopoly on the media. As said in the chapter the companies became “ huge empires of  sound: huge, integrated business organizations.”

During the depression we see the beginning of the recording industry surfacing. With radio becoming a major medium, artists began promoting their music through the airwaves. However, the state of the economy affected record sales greatly, cutting down recording time to the bare minimum with companies only allowing artists to fulfill their contracts. This is where we see juke boxes emerge because this is how most of society received their musical entertainment. It was easier to choose from a whole catalogue of records, rather then build up your own personal catalogue of records, which how society received their musical entertainment.

Swing and the mass audience

Reading this chapter, I fell in love with the “crooners” of the 1930s. There was nothing like listening to Bing Crosby’s voice over and over again. Before reading this passage, I listened to Bing Crosby during Christmas time because his songs “White Christmas,” “Mele Kalikimaka,” “The Drummer Boy” were my family’s favorite. But I never realized how much I liked it until I was reading and wanted to hear more. The way Millard described the music and the crooning, I wanted to hear more, and I actually fell in love with this era’s music.

What I didn’t like was how the technology limited the types of artists to be recorded. Only specific voice ranges were opportune to record because it sounded clear or picking the types of music to control what became “popular” music. Not that the music was good or bad, it was the fact that corporations controlled what was deemed good, and then those artists were recorded.  At this time “Swing” was deemed popular and covered a broad range of musical styles, starting on end of the spectrum being “hot” (fast and rowdy) and at the other end was “sweet” ( softer and more melodious). “Swing” became the first real type of popular music.

The studio

We see in this section the development of the studio, and what is now the recording studio. With sound technology getting better we see formatting becoming more ideal for the music industry and the different entertainment industries. In Hollywood, “dubbing” was integrated in to motion pictures, which revolutionized the movie industry. The process allowed for re-recording sounds, voices and music and placing them on different tracks. This new technology set up the multi tracking system of the music industry today.

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September 26, 2010 @ 10:35 pm

That’s interesting to hear that you like crooners. I feel that in today’s society, many are not familiar with the term ‘crooner’, but it was well appreciated in those days. When I read it, I felt intrigued by the impact musicians like Bing Crosby had on society. I can see that with today and pretty much any era of music, idols are made and appreciated.


   Amy Herzog

September 26, 2010 @ 11:06 pm

I also really love the crooners. There’s a number of links between all of the areas you write about here. The advancements in recording technology made the crooner style possible, because one could now sing with that smooth, intimate tonality which in previous eras would not have registered well in recordings.

At the same time, these new technologies were very expensive– this was a big reason for the conglomeration of power in the industry to those few, wealthy major labels who could consolidate their resources.



October 24, 2010 @ 10:15 pm

When I read the 4th paragraph of your blog, the first thing that came to mind is the ironic fact that history truly repeats itself. You made a statement that, “specific voice ranges were opportune to record because it sounded clear”. It’s like today; most popular music comes from artist that produce “clear sound” – we hear Auto Tune all over their vocals. If we were to turn on the radio, we are no longer listening to artist with “real voices” like Pattie Labelle, Whitney Houston, are even Celine Dion. In my opinion, the recording company is more focused on hearing a “clear” sound verses real and authentic music. Almost ever artist we hear today is mass-produced. If you don’t believe me, go purchase your favorite artist’s album, then buy a ticket to their “live performance”, (concert) and you tell me how they sound. I’m almost certain you will tell me they don’t sound as “clear” or as good as their CD. Hopefully one day record companies will sign artist because they have “real talent” instead of just taking someone with a mediocre voice and mass-producing them just to hear a “clear” sound.


September 30, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

Why people still make use of to read news papers when in
this technological world all is available on net?


November 4, 2015 @ 6:11 am


Sara » Millard 8,9,13


November 19, 2015 @ 6:05 pm


Sara » Millard 8,9,13

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