So here’s what you need to know. First of all, there’s a difference between “volume” and “loudness.” The former you can control with the knob or button on your stereo/radio/computer/iPod/Victrola/whatever. The latter is decided upon before you ever buy the music. “Loudness” is the built-in volume of each element of each track, levels that are usually determined in the mixing or mastering stage of music production. The more “loudness” is applied to a track, the less it has in the way of dynamics—the quiet parts of a song become just as loud as the noisy parts. When “Maintain the Pain” slams into its chorus, for instance, the dramatic impact is lessened because the “quiet” intro isn’t really quiet at all. Continue reading

When Michael Jackson died in June 2009, each person who knew enough about his music and his life to have an opinion on either (that is to say, pretty much everyone all over the world) was forced to decide: Did his personal behavior detract from the value of the music he made? Did the increasingly bizarre plastic surgery make the pulsing beat of “Billie Jean” less danceable? Did the allegations of child abuse make “Man in the Mirror” less true? More than a year later, there is no clear consensus, and likely there never will be. Since the first caveman painted on a wall 32,000 years ago, we have sought and failed to separate our perception of art from our perception of those who create it. “I guess that’s a pretty good picture of a bison hunt,” some Paleolithic wag surely said, “but coming from Ogg, I’m just not sure. Isn’t he a vegetarian? What does he know about hunting?”

“The most significant feature of the emergent popular music industry of the late 18th and early 19th centuries was the extent of its focus on the commodity form of sheet music” The availability of inexpensive, widely available sheet music versions of popular songs and instrumental music pieces made it possible for music to be disseminated to a wide audience of amateur music-makers, who could play and sing popular music at home. In addition to the influence of sheet music, another factor was the increasing availability during the late 18th and early 19th century of public popular music performances in “pleasure gardens and dance halls, popular theatres and concert rooms”. The early popular music performers worked hand-in-hand with the sheet music industry to promote popular sheet music. One of the early popular music performers to attain widespread popularity was a Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind, who toured the US in the mid-19th century. During the 19th century, more people began getting involved in music by participating in amateur choirs or joining brass bands.

Source: Wikipedia