The second part of our blog to see how the music industry was formed continues with the recorded music industry and how it developed. For the first time it put the emphasis on the singers and the bands and not the composers who wrote it. The early recording studios looked for ways how they record their musicians better. It was a guy named Les Paul in 1948 who found a way to record sound onto sound which is now termed as multi-tracking, the song was called Lover, When You are Near Me.
This song changed how the recording industry operated forever, no longer did the studio have to record a full band live. It presented the opportunity that individual musicians could record separately and special effects such as echo, reverb and phaser could also be added. This was the era of the first record labels which were to dominate the music industry for years to come. These labels pulled together the live music industry and the publishing industry, in the form of composers, to produce product for the recorded industry. And a whole music industry was born.
Artist and Repertoire representatives were responsible to find a song, pair it with the right musicians then get the right sound engineer to produce a record. Then it was up to the marketing department to pick the right time to release the song.
The Formation of the Music Industry
During the war years of the Second World War, many governments plowed resources into technologies including how to record sound and make the equipment smaller and more sophisticated. Morse code was taken a step further and sound synthesizers were invented to produce tones.
In the 1960s musicians took various adaptations of these synthesizers and added them to guitars, keyboards and other instruments. It was the time of experimental sound by many artists and the 60s had a reputation for being the psychedelic decade of music. Everything was coming together in the 60s and artists such as The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard all became world stars. It was an era of musician-driven international audiences, that was led by record sales and marketed through live tours.
The humble vinyl record was not the only way that recorded music could be played and marketed. New formats were invented such as Long Playing records, Compact Cassette tapes and Super 8 cartridges. Obviously in later years the Compact Disc came along to be superseded by digital formats and computer files.
As music can now be downloaded via the internet, the music industry has been struggling to keep hold of its grasp on the overall scene. Public perceptions have changed and purchasing music through traditional channels is no longer the preferred option. No longer is it necessary to go to a local record store to purchase your favorite band’s new album or song.
However, the music industry as a whole has never been bigger, and live performances and publishing rights have kept it afloat. Perhaps recorded music sales will happen online, but eCommerce has yet been developed to a level where this can really happen.