Reviewing how technology has changed music and music instruments in the 20 & 21st century


Music has continually changed with the changes in technology. New technology has resulted to the emergence of new music instruments and devices that have greatly influenced the way people play and listen to different types of music.

Different types of music have been played for generations, but some of the major developments in music industry began happening in the early1920’s. This is the time when some musical instruments such as acoustic guitars gained their popularity. Music that dominated air waves during this period include jazz music and blues.

The growth of music in this era was due to the devastation of the First World War. The economies in major parts of the world were recovering from the effects of war. Some of the most popular artists of the time such as Bessie Smith, Paul Whiteman, Louis Armstrong and others rose to fame during this period. The music industry, as we know it today, was just beginning and everything seemed possible.

The music hype that had struck the early 1920’s had already diminished by 1930’s. This is the time when the great depression kicked in greatly affecting the music industry. Some of the most popular music genres, such as Country music and Blues were however still being played. They mainly reflected the hardships that people were going through. Majority of the songs produced at the time addressed major issues affecting people with most of the music encouraging people to remain optimistic.

Despite the harsh economic conditions prevailing in the 1930’s, the music industry was able to experience some major developments. This is the time when the electric guitar was invented. Ideas for modern musical devices such as guitar amplifiers were born during this period. New technology has enabled development of portable guitar amplifiers such as tube guitar combo amplifiers which an artist can easily carry from place to place.

Music of the 1940’s comprised mainly of big band, jazz and swing. It mostly reflected the pain of the great depression and Second World War whilst trying to remain upbeat and looking forth to a future full of possibilities.

 In 1950’s, major social changes were happening all over the world and this also changed the style of music. R&B and Rock Music ruled the charts. Radio and television sets were now available to more people across the world and this exposed a variety of musicians and new music styles.

From 1960’s through to 1990, major technological developments changed the way music was produced and played to the audience. New music instruments such as digital pianos came into the limelight and music bands, church choirs and individual artists were increasingly using modern musical instruments such as amplified guitars, violin, modern drums and digital pianos to deliver music to a bigger audience at discos and concerts.

The advent of the new millennia revolutionized the way music was done from the previous decades. Most of the musical instruments and devices were made portable yet more sophisticated and people could play them from their homes or carry them to other places.

Travel guitars, digital pianos for beginners and a variety of other portable musical instruments were availed for music enthusiasts and beginners. Most musicians learnt the art of combining different skills such as playing certain musical instruments with their vocals to thrive in the competitive music industry. The advent of the internet made it easier for artists to record, learn from others and also to showcase their talents to millions of people worldwide.