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In the 1930s, robots were killing the music industry

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posted on Mar, 12 2012 @ 06:46 PM
We've all heard that the Internet is killing the music industry, just like home taping was supposed to kill it before. As it turns out, accusations that technology would destroy music go all the way back to the 1930s, when musicians claimed tyrannical robots would churn out soulless music.
Synchronized sound may have been a wonder to theater audiences who saw 1927' The Jazz Singer, but to some musicians, it signalled the death knell of live performances. In 1930, the American Federation of Musicians formed the Music Defense League, which launched a $500,000 ad campaign, asking the public to petition for live musicians in lieu of "canned" prerecorded music. The ads featured robots playing instruments, accompanied by claims that soulless machines would destroy the emotional art of music.

Even films were not exempt from these musical doomsayers, who believed that audiences would grow weary at the lack of emotion in filmed performances. Said Joseph N. Weber, president of the American Federation of Musicians:

After the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, all bets were off for live musicians who played in movie theaters. Thanks to synchronized sound, the use of live musicians was unnecessary — and perhaps a larger sin, old-fashioned. In 1930 the American Federation of Musicians formed a new organization called the Music Defense League and launched a scathing ad campaign to fight the advance of this terrible menace known as recorded sound.

The evil face of that campaign was the dastardly, maniacal robot. The Music Defense League spent over $500,000, running ads in newspapers throughout the United States and Canada. The ads pleaded with the public to demand humans play their music (be it in movie or stage theaters), rather than some cold, unseen machine. A typical ad read like this one from the September 2, 1930 Syracuse Herald in New York:

Tho’ the Robot can make no music of himself, he can and does arrest the efforts of those who can.

Manners mean nothing to this monstrous offspring of modern industrialism, as IT crowds Living Music out of the theatre spotlight.

Though “music has charms to soothe the savage beast, to soften rocks or bend a knotted oak,” it has no power to appease the Robot of Canned Music. Only the theatre-going public can do that.

Hence the swift growth of the Music Defense League, formed to demand Living Music in the theatre.

Every lover of music should join in this rescue of Art from debasement. Sign and mail the coupon.

The robot of recorded or “canned” music had many guises, all somehow destroying the best things in society. Here the robot makes a lunge in its attempt to steer “musical culture” away from a decidedly more pure course:

posted on Mar, 12 2012 @ 06:54 PM
reply to post by Droidinvoid

I understand their being weary of the influence of technology on music. I think mainstream music has become soulless for the most part. Rarely are there one-take, raw recordings being put out today by the music industry. Now there are beats produced by computers, auto-tune, vocal correction, etc. It's very bland.

posted on Mar, 12 2012 @ 06:54 PM
Listening to some bands today, I am sure some unimaginative robot made the music.... Just some soulless noise made by synthesized drums and synthesizers (all in sequence) and some DJ spinning old records backwards and forwards, and then they call that music. I am sure a robot can make better music than that.... Compare that to the real synthesizer music as made my Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, and others.....

For me, music has always been the language of the soul, crossing all barriers, but listening to some of the modern music, I have my doubts. My musical taste varies from classical, to New-Age and Death metal, and even some rap, so nobody can accuse me for having a boring musical taste....

(but I am starting to sound like my dad now, maybe it is my age that is the problem)
edit on 12/3/2012 by Hellhound604 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 12 2012 @ 07:28 PM
Man it really seems that they knew, somehow, that technology would eventually take the soul out of music, and indeed, all of the arts. Look at television, film, drawing and painting. Seriously. Compare Michaelangelo to some strange abstractions passed off today as modern paintings.

posted on Mar, 12 2012 @ 07:31 PM
reply to post by Droidinvoid

Robots already have killed true music.

All you hear today is techno rubbish.

True music that held emotion was classical music.

posted on Mar, 12 2012 @ 07:35 PM
Music is an art, not an industry. The "music industry" was up until quite recently, a tyrannical institution. Companies owned the artists,the sonng writers, the vinyl factories, the rights, everything. They bullied musicians and profiteered mercilessly wherever they could. I wish robots would kill it.

posted on Mar, 12 2012 @ 07:54 PM
The most popular music today is absolutely without soul, but some music out there still has feeling. Rock and Roll will never die.

Just to test this, I typed in Niki Minaj into Youtube...I instantly regretted it and had to watch some Social Distortion to heal my mind.
'Angel's Wings' FTW


posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 12:04 AM
What is called electronica/techno today, is NOT electronica/techno. Its some form of jazz, disco, squeaks and beeps. Alot of music made after 1994-97 has had alot less feeling and character.

If it was about the art and feeling instead of money, it wouldn't matter what makes the music.

posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 09:59 AM
Whoa there are some 'old' folks on here. Techno and scratching DJs can produce very good music indeed. It isn't just noises played in order
It may seem that way if you don't really listen. In just the same way that Jazz to my ears sounds like tortured cats and has absolutely no melody whatsoever.
I also know that classical music is supposed to be 'good' but to me it is very boring, doesn't get anywhere and really never hits the spot.
I personally am a Metal head, meaning that I like heavy rock, stoner rock, metal etc. A lot of these have the maths of classical music, meaning that if these songs can easily be played by classical instruments and that some classical music can be played by a rock band.

I don't like certain music but I am clever enough to see when something is really bad. And the only [I don't even want to call it music] music that has no worth whatsoever is what is currently in the charts, called pop music. It is soul less and it is throwaway and no talent has gone into it.
All other music, techno, jazz, classical, rock, do not fall into those categories. They are proper music, just not everyone likes each genre.

So stop being OLD farts and listen before talking like my nan!

posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 10:11 AM

I wonder what the thoughts were of electronic music, the best IMO is keith emrson with a hybrid approach.

at any rate, electronic music was being recorded in college dorm rooms with monster machines in the 1950s called , you guess it synthesizers

I'm not a HUGE fan of electronic music, but i do play synth, organ and piano. i wish to hear more acoustic /electronic/electric music, ala progressive rock
edit on 13-3-2012 by Jordan River because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-3-2012 by Jordan River because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 22 2012 @ 08:32 PM

Hell yeah!

posted on Mar, 22 2012 @ 08:40 PM
on the one hand
when I take my guitar out at a party
it becomes an event
Playing for favours and beers make it a down to earth shared exprience
everyone sings along ...

on the other hand imagine the price of a movie ticket if Live musicians had to get paid for every show...

also being able to plug my Yamaha MP-40 into my lap top via midi and have a whole city block's worth of wicked synths and effects and a complete AV recording and editing and mastering studio..

edit on 22-3-2012 by Danbones because: (no reason given)

hell ya
something new to me
go youtube!
edit on 22-3-2012 by Danbones because: (no reason given)

not only the whole rig IN JRs video but everything on that stage
now carriable under one arm and over the shoulder LT bag
the whole rig runs on BATTERIES
edit on 22-3-2012 by Danbones because: (no reason given)


posted on Mar, 22 2012 @ 10:30 PM

Its a shame the younger people have not had the chance to hear the older techno. If they played older Prodigy (or anything thats pre 1995-98) on the radio or promoted it, it would be like they just came out of a coma.

posted on Mar, 22 2012 @ 10:33 PM

Originally posted by XL5

Its a shame the younger people have not had the chance to hear the older techno. If they played older Prodigy (or anything thats pre 1995-98) on the radio or promoted it, it would be like they just came out of a coma.

comment on youtube prodigy vid

funny thing happend to me today
1. my girlfriend said she dosnt like the prodigy
2. she broke up with me
3.a bus hit her
4.i lost my bus license
edit on 22-3-2012 by Danbones because: (no reason given)

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