The Evolution of Musical Tools

For my Masters in Music Technology, as well as my Recording Arts & Technology degree, I worked with and studied several mediums of music recording and production. Some of us grew up carrying our Walkmans on the school bus; I remember distinctly when I could swap out my box of clunky cassettes for a few slim data CDs on our family road trips. Having 100 songs on one disc was astounding, coming from someone who used to have to fast forward and rewind through tapes to find the tunes she wanted to hear. And the ability to compile playlists easily! Priceless.

As a professor in a Conservatory of Music, I know that music classrooms are using more and more tablets and interactive apps to create, share, and study music. It's really interesting to think that children today are learning how to read music, stack chords, and accompany progressions with iPads and tablets!

Not to mention how technology has affected music production and engineering. The process of writing and recording has completely changed since the advent of the recording studio back in the 1940s and 1950s. Some musicians are writing in their own home studios, using technology to aid in their creative process, experimenting with new sounds, and trying out ideas before committing to them. We can do this because of DAW programs like ProTools and GarageBand, and we don't have to worry about wasting expensive tape or studio time! All we need is a little Undo shortcut and we can start over.

The University of Florida recently created a interesting and fun infographic on the evolution of musical tools. It shows the progression from 4-track reel-to-reel machines in the 1960s, all the way to tablets and apps that are used by musicians today.

The Evolution of Musical Tools
Do you use any of these technology tools in your own music production? How do you envision the process of music-writing evolving over time, even more so than it already has?

*This post is sponsored by the University of Florida.*


Meg Kuhar

An endlessly curious creator, Meg can usually be found making something, whether it’s a website, music, or a DIY project for her home. She is the first Assistant Professor of Music Technology at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, and lives in her mid-century dream home with her husband Nick, and their handful of a dog Petunia.