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67
votes
3answers
67k views

What does it mean for an album to be remastered?

There are times when older albums get re-released as a remastered version. What is the difference between the original version and the remastered version?
49
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
45
votes
5answers
5k views

What was classical music called back in the days?

What was classical music called back in the days? (Pre 1900s?) Was it divided in to genres as we do today, or was it simlpy categorized by the type of instruments used, or just "concert music". In ...
44
votes
4answers
7k views

How can I know if I'm damaging my hearing when listening to headphones?

I've been told that it's easy to damage my ears by listening too loud on headphones, but however loud I listen (within limits), I find my ears get used to it after a short time. It was recommended to ...
42
votes
6answers
45k views

What is the difference between hip hop and rap?

What is the difference between 'hip hop' and 'rap' genres?
41
votes
4answers
212k views

What is the difference between a LP and an EP?

Many bands/artists release EPs and LPs. I have noticed that many artists that are still on the beginning of their career release EPs. What does EP and LP mean?
36
votes
3answers
10k views

Why does rap music belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

This morning N.W.A. was announced as a 2016 inductee (coverage by Rolling Stone) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In case you are not familiar, N.W.A. (the name stands for "Niggaz Wit Attitudes")...
32
votes
3answers
71k views

How to determine the genre of a song?

I listen to many songs mostly Indian music. I always wonder how the genre of a song is determined. How is it determined by listening to the song or its basic info like the year released etc.?
31
votes
6answers
40k views

What does 'The Dark Side of the Moon' mean?

One of the most famous albums of Pink Floyd is 'The Dark Side of the Moon'. Besides the title of the album, this phrase also appears in the lyrics of the last song of the album, Eclipse: And if ...
29
votes
9answers
13k 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....
28
votes
6answers
1k views

Hidden tracks on other media than CD?

I know about hidden tracks on CD's, but are there examples of hidden tracks on cassette/ vinyl?
28
votes
5answers
20k 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. ...
27
votes
2answers
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. ...
27
votes
4answers
41k views

What is the difference between a “cover” and a “remake” of a song?

Is there a difference between a cover and a remake of a song? Or do both terms mean the same thing?
27
votes
1answer
2k views

What was the first vinyl record to have a repeating loop in the run-out groove?

I have heard a few vinyl records that have a short snippet of sound in the innermost groove of the record, such that if your player doesn't auto-return the arm, you hear an endless loop. What was the ...
25
votes
6answers
31k views

Is the double negative in 'we don't need no education' intentional?

The famous Pink Floyd Song Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) uses double negative in the chorus: We don't need no education We dont need no thought control ... https://www.youtube.com/...
25
votes
8answers
1k views

How should I efficiently discover, collect, store and access new music in 2015?

Always been a huge music fan (of the stored terabytes variety). But I suspect my methods went out of date around 2008 (rip my CDs, rip friends' CDs, otherwise get hands on mp3s, rename everything ...
25
votes
3answers
3k views

What is a “jazz standard”?

this is a song by ... which became jazz standards. What is a jazz standard? Is it a jazz song which becomes so popular that everybody plays it?
25
votes
1answer
3k views

Who started the encore tradition at concerts?

Was it one band, or is this more tied to a particular genre or era of time?
25
votes
1answer
991 views

Should I store my vinyl records side by side or in piles?

What is the safest way to store my vinyl records: Side by side or in piles? I don’t care about ease of access or collection organization, only about preservation.
24
votes
6answers
43k views

What's the difference between house and techno?

Both are considered pillars of electronic dance music, and probably its most known and recognized genres. They are often used interchangeably, sometimes to refer to electronic dance music in general, ...
24
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
38k 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?
23
votes
5answers
12k views

Standard vinyl vs Audiophile/Weighted vinyl - What's the difference?

I remember back in the days of my youth when everything was released on vinyl, you'd sometimes hear about "audiophile" vinyl or vinyl with a specific weight (which I think was 180g). What's the ...
23
votes
4answers
22k views

In the song “Hotel California” by the Eagles, what are “colitas”?

Hotel California is one of my favorite songs. One mysterious line at the beginning of the song states: Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air I speak some Spanish, but neither I nor my ...
23
votes
2answers
369 views

What is the quality threshold for recordings sounding better/truer?

I have a couple of "audiophile" friends who either obsess of vinyl or lossless FLAC files and invest a lot of money into special headphones and audio systems, and swear by the massive difference it ...
22
votes
7answers
2k views

What song has had the most versions that have made the singles charts?

I can think of a bunch of songs that have spawned many covers... sometimes too many. But which song has had the most covers / versions (including the original, if it charted) that have themselves hit ...
22
votes
3answers
5k views

Was the radio talk in “Right Here, Right Now” real or created for the song?

The version of Fatboy Slim’s Right Here, Right Now from the album You've Come a Long Way, Baby ends with this radio talk: [Host] WBCN, and who’s this? [Caller] Hey, this is Brad, this is Brad, ...
22
votes
1answer
758 views

How does Billboard assign songs to its various charts?

Billboard has many different charts, including charts for overall popularity and broken down by various genres, like the Hot 100, the Billboard 200, Pop Songs, Adult Contemporary, Hot Country Songs, ...
21
votes
3answers
12k 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?
21
votes
2answers
4k views

What defines rock music as a genre?

Which patterns, instruments, characteristics (or whatever) does a song need to have to be considered rock? Can this be objectively analyzed? If not, which subjective dynamics are involved?
20
votes
8answers
390 views

Apart from Frank & Nancy Sinatra, have any other parent & child both individually made it to number one in the singles charts?

Frank Sinatra has a bunch of number ones (including apparently the first Billboard #1, I'll Never Smile Again); Nancy made it with These Boots Are Made for Walkin'. Have any other parent and child ...
20
votes
6answers
147k views

The meaning of “Uptown Funk”

I have heard this new song titled Uptown Funk. I was interested in the line "Uptown funk you up". I tried Google Translate and did not get a meaningful translation. What does this line mean? And ...
20
votes
2answers
621 views

Does the type of music you listen to factor into determining which speakers to buy?

When I browsing Amazon for speakers I see in the description specifications like maximum input power, Frequency response curve, Audio Sensitivity etc. Does the type of music you listen to factor into ...
20
votes
1answer
347 views

How are backward messages created on tracks?

It is famously known that on Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" are hidden satanic messages if you play the track backwards. Is this true? I've heard some backwards recordings on Youtube, but I don'...
20
votes
1answer
240 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
181 views

What is the name for a track hidden before the CD content?

If I rewind the track 1 of the debut album by The Music, I can get to track 0. To play this hidden track I need to rewind until I reach its beginning; I found no other way to access it. Is there a ...
19
votes
1answer
6k views

Are there any records of the “rest” of the verses from “Hallelujah”?

According to the most popular version of the story, when Leonard Cohen wrote "Hallelujah", he wrote about 80 separate verses src before paring down to the 4 he used in his studio recording. He ...
18
votes
10answers
1k views

Have there been musicians who have been in more than one band with a Top-10 hit on different instruments?

I was just wondering this. First of all, it's rare that any musician has played more than one instrument in more than one band, but there are a few. So I was wondering how many musicians have been ...
18
votes
2answers
2k 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)
18
votes
2answers
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 ...
18
votes
3answers
541 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? ...
18
votes
4answers
5k views

What gives vinyl records their characteristic sound?

Many people swear by vinyls and claim that they sound warmer or just better in general. Why do vinyls sound different - is it the way that music is recorded onto them, or is it something in the ...
18
votes
1answer
888 views

How did Led Zeppelin get their name?

How did Led Zeppelin get their name? Was it something they just came up with together, or was it based off of something else?
18
votes
2answers
1k views

What defines a trap-beat?

I'm actually more the boom bap Hip-Hop, 90's style beat guy. But I find myself enjoying trap music more and more, since it's getting more and more popular and also because my friend is making more ...
18
votes
1answer
267 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?
17
votes
8answers
590 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
3k 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. ...
17
votes
3answers
6k views

What happened to the heads from the front cover of The Division Bell?

Steel head sculptures were used for the CD release of the album The Division Bell, and stone sculptures appeared on the cassette artwork. Can you still see them anywhere?
17
votes
2answers
334 views

What is the largest concert performed?

What is the largest concert performed in terms of paying attendees?

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