The Impact Of Music On The Music

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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…show more content…
These recordings were acquired specifically to study the Native culture, creating a colored sound. Native American recordings were packaged into records that could be studied by ethnographers. As these colored sounds were constructed and consumed by listeners, similar perceptions of colored culture were introduced to music. Black and Native cultures were looked down upon. Their sounds were seen as primitive and were not held to the same standards as classical European music. These reactions effectively tied race to music. By looking at racial relations in the era of the phonograph, one can see the contradictory relationship that formed between colored cultures and white who pursed their sound. These relations reveal the importance of race in a time where it could not be seen. Race in music became relevant when a black sound was constructed for white consumers, however, white society’s fondness of this black sound was a paradoxical relationship that illuminates racial relations during this era. The African American sound was an instantaneous hit to white ears, starting as early as the first recording of a black voice. In what is presumed to be the first voice recording of an African American, ‘Mr. Wicks’ praised the voice of a hotel staffer in Kansas, claiming that “the rich music peculiar to the darkey seemed admirably adapted to the phonograph”. In this recording, one can note the start of a white fascination towards black
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