RT Cunningham


Music Media and Music Genres - From the 1960s to the Present Day

music media Music has been around since the beginning of time, in various formats and various media. Modern music media is nothing like it was when I was growing up. Music genres exist that didn’t exist before I was born (in 1960).

In the 1960s, people listened to music on AM radio and phonographic records. We called them “records” and the machines we played them on were “record players”. People use other terms today, referring to same things.

Today, we can listen to music from more sources than I can probably mention.

Music Media – The Gramophone Record

That’s the official term for any “record” played from 1960 on. I remember the earlier version being rigid and easy to break. The later version was flexible and almost unbreakable.

A record was made from PVC, but not in its pure state. Modern PVC is a type of plastic, the same type used to make pipes for plumbing.

Record players still exist. In some places they’re called “turntables”.

Music Media – The 8-track Tape

My parents owned a piece of furniture sometime before I joined the military in 1978 that I can only describe as a music console. It was wide and made of wood, except for the electronic components and the stereo speakers.

When the lid was raised, you could see a record player and an 8-track tape system within it. My parents didn’t buy many 8-track tapes as they were more expensive than records.

Some people had 8-track tape players in their cars. That music media format wasn’t popular for very long.

Music Media – The Compact Cassette

I remember when one of my older brothers bought a cassette tape player. He also bought a few music cassettes. I remember hearing “The Carpenters” over and over again in the early 1970s.

I bought all of my music on cassette tapes until the compact disc came out. Cassette tapes didn’t last, no matter how much I tried to keep them in good condition. The magnetic tape would come off the spool and the only way to fix things was by using a pencil to wind and rewind them.

Inevitably, the magnetic tape would get stuck in whatever cassette player I was using. That includes the cassette player in my car.

Music Media – The Compact Disc

I bought my first CD sometime in the 1980s. From then on, I only bought music on CDs unless the music I was looking for could only be found on cassette tapes.

I no longer buy music on physical media. If I can’t get digital media files, I won’t bother. There are so many ways to get digital media these days, paying for plastic doesn’t make sense. In some countries, it’s difficult to get digital media for anything but “Western” music (like from the United States).

Music Genres

I grew up with various rock and country genres. My father wouldn’t listen to anything but country until the day he died (he was born in 1924). My mother didn’t mind the light rock genres, but she was a huge Elvis fan (she was born in 1933).

My older sisters were into a lot of the popular music artists of the 1960s and 1970s and I can mention a few off the top of my head:

I didn’t get to listen to some of the bands I like today until after I moved away from home. Some of them didn’t exist until after I moved away from home.

Digital Music Media

I used a CD-ripping program years ago to convert everything I had to MP3 files. Each song was saved at the 320 bit rate, the highest I could go with it. Since then, I used various means to get the digital media I didn’t have but wanted.

My music collection is huge, but not nearly as huge as the collections of some people I know (or knew). The last time I checked, I had over 2000 files. My music player (I’m using Banshee on my Linux Mint laptop) told me it would take more than five days to listen to it all. That is, if I listened to it while I slept as well as while I was awake.

Over the course of time, I hope to share some of my favorite music with you, regardless of the music genres. I’ll be using embedded YouTube videos to emphasize them. It doesn’t do too much good to talk about something I enjoy and then expect you to find it yourself.

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By RT Cunningham
March 25, 2017
Entertainment and Recreation

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