The Impact Of Music On The Music

1386 Words Mar 23rd, 2016 6 Pages
The introduction of the phonograph changed how music was seen and listened to. Before the phonograph, music was played live and performers communicated with audiences expressively, through facial and bodily gestures. The phonograph, as Mark Katz argues in Capturing sound, introduced the phonographic effect—(in)visibility. With recorded music, the performer and the listener were separated; they were oblivious of each other’s physical qualities. For colored artists separating race from music, essentially making race irrelevant in music, became a possibility. The ability to pursue a race-blind industry could be seen as a blessing, especially for African Americans of the era—a group that had been give little, if any opportunity to pursue music. The racial relations during this time, a time where the remnants of slavery were still engrained in the air through segregation, also made records seem as a possible escape from racial prejudice. The possibility of a racially-blind industry, however, did not become a reality. Race was alive and present in the recording industry. Black face and coon songs directly tied race to music. These modes of entertainment specifically demanded race to be present. By mimicking African American sound through coon songs and other methods, a recognizable black sound was also constructed by white Americans. Phonographic recordings of Native cultures also show that race was relevant even after the sound was detached from the body. Ethnographers…
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