Music has always been a popular way to enjoy an evening at home. If you have only a radio, turning to a classical station, oldies station or whatever your favorite type of music is and settling down to read, study or just dream a little has always been a popular recreational activity. Teenagers have been listening to rock and roll on the radio for years, but even before that, old time radio shows were welcome entertainment for the entire family. Fibber McGee and Molly, Amos and Andy, The Lone Ranger and Gunsmoke are just few of the radio shows that families listened to together. There were also live music shows from some of the famous big band performances. |
As television entered the entertainment mainstream, musical variety shows were often popular. Who could forget Ed Sullivan's presentation of the Beatles first performance in the U.S. Other favorites included The Dinah Shore Show, Tennessee Ernie Ford and later, the Dean Martin Show and later Sonny and Cher, The Monkees and Donny and Marie Osmond.
The record companies were selling singles, then records and the then long-playing stereo records. Stereos were becoming accepted as fine furniture, at the same time as upscale stereo systems became more and more common. It seemed at times that the music was less important than the equipment that it was played on. Then almost overnight it seemed, eight-track cassettes were available and people switched to the handy map pocket sized cases with the tape players built into the cars. The tape players had hardly made it into automobiles before CD players were optional equipment and then standard equipment in many vehicles.
At home, CD players were built into computers and the speed and quality of the discs improved exponentially over the next few months. At the same time as the media forms were changing from records to CDs, many musical instruments sound was created electronically on electronic keyboards. These instruments had a piano like keyboard but added chords, rhythms and embellishments to a one finger melody. There are even prerecorded pieces that can be played.
Today, many people listen to music on headphones from an MP3 player or even to music pieces downloaded to their cell phones. Sharing musical ring tones, or musical pieces by their favorite artist with friends is a common way to spend an evening. At the same time as music carrying capacity jams more music into a smaller disk or memory card, televisions screens are getting larger and larger. In fact, you can listen to dozens of music stations sorted by genre on your television set billed as a home theater experience.
Today there are not many high class stereo systems including a radio, record player, and cassette player around. A mobile phone unit can pull in FM radio stations, play memory cards with dozens of songs per memory card in one small package, not much larger than a candy bar. By using a headphone or Bluetooth technology, each listener can be lost in a completely different kind of musical enjoyment.
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