Music Technology in the Last 30 Years


Music Technology has dramatically undoubtedly come a long way over the last 30 years. The term generally refers to any use of technological equipment in the creation or performance of music, but lately it has come to be recognised more specifically as Keyboard MIDI and the use of computers. Technology in music was once measured in what kind of devices we being used to create/generate music. At one time, even the guitar was considered technology. Today, the usefulness of technology is measured in many different ways. Basic modern technology in music can be found in such items as the guitar pick-ups, microphones, the mixing soundboard, and the amplifier. It is difficult to imagine modern music without these devices because they are now found everywhere.

More advanced examples of modern technology are the use of MIDI [MIDI stands for musical instrument digital interface] controllers that connect via USB Cable(s) to a computer [usually a desk-top computer, or a lap-top computer]. This allows the player to access multiple sampled sounds from a computer based sequencer. The controllers are generally keyboards, though the MIDI controller knows no limitations. Aside from stringed controllers, there are also wind and percussive controllers. These offer a new angle on the process of creativity. This process has very much become a part of the way music is created, and in some cases even given rise to new genres of music over the last few decades. Sequencers are the most used type of music technology. They allow the player to assign different sounds and samples to the notes they are playing. Sequencers are sometimes found in a software format which allow the user to perform with a lap-top computer instead of a ‘stand alone’ unit [I.e. rack mounted sequencer units]. This allows a much wider range of effects to be used without the hassle of hauling a lot of heavy equipment around. The use of this technology in music has let to music technology being offered in Secondary Schools and Universities as a graduate major. Even respected music conservatories have started to offer diploma studies and engineering majors.

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