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Questions tagged [history]

For questions about the past or present events of Musical History.

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53 votes
8 answers
3k views

Why is the length of a song in much modern music between 3 and 4 minutes?

One of our definition questions. This intrigued me because there are a lot of possible answers and I don't know if it's been investigated. Is it simply convention? Is there some sort of ...
Matthew Read's user avatar
  • 1,041
36 votes
6 answers
61k views

What is considered to be the first music video?

Just as the title says. Who was the artist, what is the track called? Bonus points if the video is available online! I would say that silent film has the focus on the movie enhanced by the music. ...
Viktor Mellgren's user avatar
30 votes
9 answers
16k views

Why doesn't anyone write great symphonies any more?

Most of the "great" symphonies stem from the 18th and 19th centuries. Shostakovich was the last great symphonic composer and he died in 1975. I'm not aware of anyone writing great symphonies since him....
Rob Sedgwick's user avatar
29 votes
2 answers
2k views

What are the historical roots of auto-tune?

Auto-Tune is a technique to hide bad vocals in a track. Good or bad, it seems that it's here to stay in popular music. Many people credit Cher's Believe as the first use of auto-tune in popular music. ...
Taryn's user avatar
  • 393
28 votes
3 answers
47k views

Why did Elvis Presley never tour overseas?

Elvis Presley was immensely popular around the world. Surely he could have drawn huge audiences and made a ton of money if he toured overseas. But he never performed anywhere overseas. What was the ...
pacoverflow's user avatar
  • 1,713
25 votes
6 answers
51k views

Who influenced The Beatles?

A lot of bands and musicians say one of their biggest influence musically was The Beatles and contribute the founding of rock and roll to them. Who musically influenced The Beatles though?
Dom's user avatar
  • 4,220
24 votes
4 answers
38k views

Where did the "rock on" hand sign come from?

A lot of rock musicians use a hand sign to symbolize the concept of "rock on" typically during a performance. The hand symbol is shown below. Where did this hand symbol come from and who created it?
Dom's user avatar
  • 4,220
24 votes
1 answer
338 views

Why exactly did the jury find copyright infringement in the case of Blurred Lines?

I’ve listened to parts of Blurred Lines and Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give It Up, and I don't get it. I hear similarities, but no song can be entirely new, here in this century. What were the specific ...
Eric Wilson's user avatar
22 votes
6 answers
5k views

Why do music genres exist?

For instance, every band/artist is unique to what they call themselves (performer/stage name.) It would seem easier to describe a taste in music by specific bands you enjoy versus a particular genre. ...
Jasper's user avatar
  • 747
21 votes
3 answers
719 views

In simple layman terms, what is the Loudness War?

Metallica's Death Magnetic is known for having compromised sound quality in order to sound louder, we hear that it is thanks to the Loudness War. What is it? What impact does it have on music fans? ...
NPN328's user avatar
  • 4,342
19 votes
2 answers
3k views

When did the "standard drumkit" become popular in music

When did the standard drum kit become popular in music. My definition of standard drum kit being: snare drum bass drum hi-hat cymbal(s) tom-tom(s)
Viktor Mellgren's user avatar
19 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is the music played in silent films considered to be a soundtrack? Why or why not?

A soundtrack, also written sound track, can be recorded music accompanying and synchronized to the images of a motion picture, book, television program or video game; a commercially released ...
M.A.R.'s user avatar
  • 293
19 votes
1 answer
367 views

What was the first music recording reproduced for sale in any format?

What was the first music recording that people could go to the shop and buy a copy of? Was it even a gramophone record, or was it some kind of wax cylinder recording?
user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
716 views

Did "I Got Rhythm" invent or merely popularise rhythm changes?

The "rhythm changes" chord progression, used in compositions as wide ranging as Parker’s Anthropology and the Flintstones Theme, is named after George Gershwin’s 1930 song I Got Rhythm. Was this ...
Uri Granta's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
594 views

Is there In English a music genre characterised by long songs? Similar to Tarab

I'm a Lebanese, in the Arab world, we had singers who sang extremely long songs, ranging from 30 to 130 min, the genre is called Tarab, طرب. It's no longer popular nowadays because today's generation ...
Lynob's user avatar
  • 283
18 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why is Axl Rose the only original member left in Guns N' Roses?

It's pretty common to see a band break up or have a member or two leave, but in Guns N' Roses the only original member left is Axl Rose and most of the other band members still play together in bands ...
Dom's user avatar
  • 4,220
18 votes
2 answers
429 views

What is the largest concert performed?

What and when is the largest concert performed in terms of paying attendees?
Viktor Mellgren's user avatar
17 votes
9 answers
809 views

Has any instrumental music ever been used to carry information?

Music is often dubbed 'the universal language', but language usually carries some information. I know that music has many different notes, with letters and pitches assigned to each. Was there ever ...
Pyraminx's user avatar
  • 281
17 votes
2 answers
1k views

How did music propagate before recordings?

In today's world one can listen to any piece of music from anywhere pretty much at the click of a button and we have radio and other methods to hear music we are not familiar with. However this was ...
Dom's user avatar
  • 4,220
17 votes
1 answer
4k views

Was Freddie Mercury's voice range over 4 octaves?

I was going through some articles which listed Freddie's voice under the Over 4 octaves list. But, haven't found an expert-backed opinion on the same. So, is Freddie's range really over 4 octaves?
Dawny33's user avatar
  • 437
17 votes
5 answers
3k views

Why is the Stratocaster guitar so prevalent?

Since the 1960s there have been many famous guitar players like Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and others, all playing Fender Stratocaster guitars. This is across a variety ...
Reinaldy Rafli's user avatar
15 votes
7 answers
3k views

Who are considered the most important salsa composers/performers?

Like the title says, I would like to know who are the most important salsa composers and/or performers. If possible I'd like some brief background as to why they are so important.
Pedro Mancheno's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
1k views

Was Pete Townshend the first musician to destroy his instrument as part of a performance?

Pete Townshend of the Who regularly would smash his guitar on stage as part of his performance. Was he the first musician to destroy his instrument as part of a performance?
Dom's user avatar
  • 4,220
15 votes
1 answer
649 views

What did Chopin think of the saxophone?

Adolphe Sax arrived in Paris in 1842, when Chopin had been living in Paris for some years. Both Chopin and Sax lived in Paris until 1849, when Chopin died. It seems highly likely that Chopin heard ...
John M's user avatar
  • 271
14 votes
2 answers
58k views

Where does this famous rhythm pattern come from (oftenly used to knock on a door)?

This rhythm pattern seems very famous and is oftenly used to knock on someone's door, sometimes as a code: Does it have an history? Where does it come from?
Bebs's user avatar
  • 7,275
14 votes
1 answer
5k views

What was the first vinyl record ever pressed?

I am wondering about, what was the first vinyl record ever pressed. I am not interested in the first record ever (for example shellac), only the first vinyl record.
LStrike's user avatar
  • 549
14 votes
1 answer
248 views

Is the old myth of reggae's creation true?

I've heard many times that reggae music what created by slowing down the ska beat by a too hot summer for the sake of dancers. I'm aware of the deep link between carribean musics and dance, so can it ...
Archibald McGollum's user avatar
13 votes
5 answers
4k views

How do I play a 16⅔ RPM record?

I bought an LP record from a local library and back home turned it on to hear it. And I get very funny voice like somebody is on helium. I thought I had it on 45 and wanted to switch to 33, but it was ...
Rado's user avatar
  • 231
13 votes
4 answers
1k views

Are there other "psychedelic" genres than rock?

Commonly I've seen psychedelic rock starts with The Doors and others, but is there any other "psychedelic-something" (i.e. "psychedelic jazz") genre? What are the examples (of the psychedelic-...
Reinaldy Rafli's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
464 views

What was the last live concert the Beatles played together?

What was the last concert/show John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr played together as the Beatles?
Dom's user avatar
  • 4,220
13 votes
3 answers
566 views

What was the first track to be sold through Internet?

I wonder what was the first track to be sold through Internet (and when / under what circumstances it took place).
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
12 votes
6 answers
4k views

What was the first "supergroup"?

Wikipedia defines "supergroup" as -- A music group whose members are already successful as solo artists or as part of other groups or well known in other musical professions. It also states that ...
sanpaco's user avatar
  • 1,004
12 votes
1 answer
9k views

Is V in Morse code • • • − because the main theme of Beethoven's V Symphony is short-short-short-long? [closed]

I am reading Craig Wright's Listening to Music. On page 222, he states: No wonder that during World War II (1939-1945) both sides, Fascists as well as Allied, used the music of [Beethoven's fifth] ...
Stan Shunpike's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

The "right here, right now" sample in "Right Here, Right Now"

In Fatboy Slim’s Right Here, Right Now, the lyrics contain repetitions of "right here, right now", spoken by a woman. This sample seems to be taken from the movie Strange Days, where Angela Bassett ...
unor's user avatar
  • 3,458
12 votes
1 answer
180 views

What song has been sampled the most (ended up in the most other released tracks)?

Being a drum and bass and hip hop fan, I'm quite familiar with the Amen Break and Funky Drummer. Is one of these the most sampled sound of all time (in terms of then being incorporated into other ...
user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
6k views

Why is the word "blue" so commonly used everywhere in Jazz: from lyrics, song titles, to record label names?

John Coltrane's "Blue Train", Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue", the record label "Blue Note". The list goes on and on. What's the reason behind the word "blue" and the Jazz genre being so closely tied?
NPN328's user avatar
  • 4,342
12 votes
1 answer
389 views

Can the "Concept Album" be tracked back to a single release?

Barring anything theater-based (like Classical, Opera and Broadway), can anyone tell me which was the first true "concept album"? Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" held a concept throughout it, ...
Johnny Bones's user avatar
  • 7,159
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Mods vs Rockers - who won?

I've heard a lot about Mods vs Rockers in the '60s. But can either side reasonably claim to have 'won', either overall or in any of the significant individual 'battles', e.g. the 'Battle of Brighton'?
user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
267 views

"Corn Cob Blues" - real story?

There’s a song by John Hartford called "Corn Cob Blues", from a 1967 album. The song’s about a cowboy singer promoting the wedding of a member of his backing crew, and the thoughts of the groom ...
Angst's user avatar
  • 4,252
12 votes
1 answer
3k views

Origin of the rimshot

This might be a bit too obscure, but you never know what other people know, so... Anyone know the origin of the rimshot, as used to emphasize a joke? You know, like the representation here:
Johnny Bones's user avatar
  • 7,159
11 votes
11 answers
10k views

Longest-running artist in music history?

If you google information about longest running bands, there seem to be conflicting accounts, like U2, ZZ Top, Rolling Stones, etc, which depend on the criteria used (no gaps, same members, etc). ...
luchonacho's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
939 views

Studies about stereotypes' accuracy of different genre listeners

We all have in mind when we think of a typical metal listener a person wearing black clothes, long haired, with big black boots and etc. For almost each genre, there exist stereotypes of the typical ...
Flugueubluck's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
314 views

Where is this "overused" piece of ending originated from? [duplicate]

Here it is: Here's an example video, jump straight to the end (at 11:07). It is literally heard everywhere, mostly used as an improvisation, e.g. to add a fun and humorous twist in any piece of ...
user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

As a performer, was Mozart primarily a pianist or a violinist?

As a performer, was Mozart primarily a pianist or a violinist? In other words, which was his primary performing instrument? As he gained success as a composer, did he stop performing? If so, was it ...
aparente001's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
650 views

Has technology improvement caused film music to change?

When watching older films (by older, I mean before 1970), I always notice the lack of strings in the soundtracks, and when there are strings, they never play quietly. For example, in Mary Poppins, the ...
cat40's user avatar
  • 789
11 votes
0 answers
98 views

First 45 not to feature a "second song"?

Napoleon XIV (AKA Jerry Samuels) released "They're Coming to Take Me Away" in 1966. He had no second song, so they simply played the song backwards on the B-side. A lot of singles simply feature an ...
VBartilucci's user avatar
10 votes
10 answers
7k views

Has a B-side unexpectedly become more popular than A-side?

When released for the first time, a single usually suppose to have a hit on the A-side, and a secondary song not supposed to be a hit, on the B-side. That song was basically used to fill the B-side, ...
Bebs's user avatar
  • 7,275
10 votes
6 answers
1k views

Greatest longevity in Rock bands, keeping all initial members

I'm looking for famous Rock bands that had the greatest longevity with keeping all initial members. Here are some restrictions: Initial members would be the ones who recorded the first album. Famous ...
Bebs's user avatar
  • 7,275
10 votes
5 answers
10k views

How can the blues be linked to hip hop / rap music?

I've seen / read many things about black music, especially the Negro spiritual, blues, rhythm'n'blues, rock'n'roll, etc. And 99% of what I've heard or read says that the rap music descends from blues,...
Sushi's user avatar
  • 529
10 votes
3 answers
800 views

What was the first band considered to be punk?

Punk is a very distinctive sub genre of rock with it's own very interesting sound, look, and persona. Which band was the first band that was classified as a punk band and start this trend?
Dom's user avatar
  • 4,220

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