Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now

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32

In addition to the other answers provided here, many point to the development of the medium for popular songs. Early recordings were made primarily on 78s, with the two most common sizes being 10" and 12"; the former having a maximum lengh of ~3 minutes, while the latter having a length of ~4-5 minutes. (Source.) The 78s were popularly replaced by 45s (...


29

Symphonies were historically commissioned pieces of work. The commission was to pay for the writing and then the performing. Commissioning for symphonies has mostly disappeared so orchestras are not likely to take on new symphonies in their repertoire. Shostakovich composed under the commission of the Soviet State and they requested symphonies to be ...


22

I think of it from a more technical approach. Let's take the most common structure of a modern song: Intro (4 or 8 bars) Verse (8 or 12 bars) Chorus (8 or 12 bars) Verse (8 or 12 bars) Chorus (8 or 12 bars) Solo / Bridge (8 or 12 bars) Verse or Chorus and Outro (ad libitum) This would make your average song about 70-80 bars long. Given that most modern ...


22

Was Cher's Believe the first production to use auto-tune as a noticeable effect? Yes, at least in mainstream big-production music. Was Cher's Believe the first production to use auto-tune at all? Evidence strongly suggests that it was not, but there's no info available regarding who and when. It's not easy to dive into the very beginning of auto-tune ...


22

All musical forms, from Gregorian chant to hip hop, are most closely associated with a particular time and place, they go in and out of popularity. Older forms become a niche product, created and appreciated by a select few, not the masses. The problem with symphonies is that they require a full orchestra, and thus are one of the most expensive musical ...


21

It was started by Ronnie James Dio. It originates from an old Italian symbol called a Malocchio, or "Evil Eye". It's all explained pretty well here. R.J. Dio – "I doubt very much if I would be the first one who ever did that. That's like saying I invented the wheel, I'm sure someone did that at some other point. I think you'd have to say that I made ...


21

In marching bands from the late 1800's (like that of John Phillip Sousa), the percussion parts were played by separate musicians: one with cymbals, one with a snare drum, one with bass drum, etc. With the advent of smaller bands in the Jazz era (1910's - 1930's), percussion duties were placed in the hands of one seated drummer, surrounded by drums. One of ...


20

The first music video-like would be The Little Lost Child in 1894 (!!). This is considered more like the first illustrated song. Using a magic lantern, a series of still images were projected on a screen simultaneous to live performances. Also, Silly Symphony (1929-39) and Fantasia (1940) were animated films/videos (the former one short) that were ...


18

Elvis' manager, Colonel Tom Parker (whose real name was Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk) was an illegal alien. Sending Elvis overseas, where Parker would have needed a passport to travel, would have jeopardized his being "found out". And Parker wasn't about to send Elvis over there by himself, where someone else might have exerted control over him and convinced ...


17

There's a few reasons for it, but one of the most notable is related to how most of us start listening to music which is the radio. Think about it from a radio station's perspective. They can only play so many songs in a given time and they want to make sure that they cover as many songs as possible. Assuming no ads (which is very rare) and that all songs ...


17

Apparently it's not: the late singer's inimitable voice was the subject of a study by a team of Austrian, Czech and Swedish authors who set out to analyze Mercury's voice from archived recordings to figure out exactly what made it so memorable. What did they discover? Well, first of all, they cast doubt on a commonly-recited fact: that ...


16

The Beatles started out as a rock'n'roll band. Their most admiration went to the rock'n'roll legend Elvis Presley. Another rock'n'roll legend that inspired and influenced the Beatles was Chuck Berry. The Beatles covered songs from both of these musicians at the beginning of their career, like Chuck's "Rock And Roll Music", Elvis's "That's All Right, Mama" ...


16

The word "soundtrack" dates back to 1928, which is about the time that "talkie" movies were picking up momentum. Talkies were either presented with a sound-on-disc system or a sound-on-film system. With sound-on-film, the sound literally comes from a track on the film itself that contains the sound information, which was how the sound was able to be ...


16

Oh, I see. Here's that story: During the time before music printing, and well into it, the vast majority of people didn't know about any music that wasn't being made right in their town or village. And there were very important composers (J.S. Bach is maybe the best example) who were completely obscure outside the city or small court in which they worked. ...


15

The simplest reason is that Axl doesn't have the best character (to put it mildly). Most of the members started disliking, even hating him after some years. He was known for being at least 2 hours late for the shows, which as a musician and a fan, I find really irritating. With 'original members' I assume you are referring to the Appetite for Destruction ...


15

There are still symphonic compositions being made but most are created as scores for movies. John Williams is one of the most prolific soundtrack composers, writing scores for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman, and a great number of pieces that are embedded in the modern culture. I had the fortune of attending Star Wars in Concert and the experience was as ...


13

From The Beatles we can see some of their influences: Earlier Influences: Elvis Presley Of Presley, Lennon said, "Nothing really affected me until I heard Elvis. If there hadn't been Elvis, there would not have been the Beatles." Carl Perkins Little Richard Chuck Berry Later Influences: Buddy Holly Eddie Cochran Roy Orbison Everly Brothers Bob ...


12

YYZ by Rush is a pretty obvious example. YYZ is the IATA airport identification code of Toronto Pearson International Airport, near Rush's hometown. The band was introduced to the rhythm as Alex Lifeson flew them into the airport. A VHF omnidirectional range system at the airport broadcasts the YYZ identifier code in Morse code. Peart said in interviews ...


12

This pattern comes from a fanfare often used at the end of a musical performance called "Shave and a Haircut- Two Bits" I found this reference to it on Wikipedia: In music, the call "Shave and a Haircut" and the associated response "two bits" is a simple, 7-note musical couplet, riff or fanfare popularly used at the end of a musical performance, usually for ...


11

This is mainly due to the popularity of radio edits. Radio edits often shorten a long song in order to make it more commercially viable for radio stations. This gives radio stations greater flexibility in terms of playing advertisements and creating content "segments". Making your music "more accessible" for radio stations makes it more likely to be played.


11

tl;dr Yes, Cher's Believe is the first use of the autotune effect as we know it. Auto-tune, the product vs autotune, the effect The product Auto-tune was the first pitch correction plugin created for Pro-Tools and was released in 1997 by Antares Audio Technology. At that time, pitch corrections was a difficult, manual, studio process, and was therefore ...


11

I don't know whether this still stands, but the Guiness Book of World Records at some point listed a-Ha's performance at the 1991 Rock in Rio concert as the record holder with 198,000 paid attendance.


11

To explain the 'Loudness War' you need to first understand one simple fact… Digital audio has an absolute 'loudest noise' - it is not like old analog, where you can always 'push the fader' a bit to get some more volume. However you measure it, digital audio has a number of bits it can use to hold any given sample of sound. Being digital it can go as far as ...


11

According to Matthew Guerrieri: No one has ever been able to determine whether Samuel F.B. Morse—or Alfred Vail, Morse's more technically adept assistant, who did the bulk of the work in developing what came to be called Morse Code—had Beethoven in mind when the encoding of the alphabet reached V, the Roman numeral of the symphony it seems to echo. (The ...


11

In answering your title question, I agree with the other answer here (from Tetsujin): genres exist because classification Is What We Do and our brains our wired for the use of heuristics (see, for instance, the writings of Herbert Simon). That is, labeling something by genre gives a sense of its innate structure and the "rules" by which it plays -- or, ...


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