Saturday, October 1, 2011

Let The Music Play...!

Hard to imagine that so many advances have been made in spreading the music!

I'll be willing to bet that when this was first made public way back in 1920, a lot of people said "no way!" Guess they were wrong, huh? Sort of makes you wonder what kind of advances we'll make in the next few years!

Oct 1, 1920:
Scientific American reports that radio will soon be used to transmit music to the home

In an 1888 novel called Looking Backward: 2000-1887, author Edward Bellamy imagined a scene in which a time-traveler from 1887 reacts to a technological advance from the early 21st century that he describes as, "An arrangement for providing everybody with music in their homes, perfect in quality, unlimited in quantity, suited to every mood, and beginning and ceasing at will." In Bellamy's imagination, this astonishing feat was accomplished by a vast network of wires connecting individual homes with centrally located concert halls staffed round-the-clock with live performers. As it turned out, this vision of the year 2000 would come to pass far sooner than Bellamy imagined, and without all the pesky wires. On this day in 1920, Scientific American magazine reported that the rapidly developing medium of radio would soon be used to broadcast music. A revolution in the role of music in everyday life was about to be born.

"It has been well known for some years that by placing a form of telephone transmitter in a concert hall or at any point where music is being played the sound may be carried over telephone wires to an ordinary telephone receiver at a distant point," began the bulletin in the October 1, 1920 issue of the popular science monthly, "but it is only recently that a method of transmitting music by radio has been found possible."

Arguments about radio's origins persist to this day, but its basic workings had been understood for upwards of 20 years at the time of this announcement. It was only in the years immediately following World War I, however, that radio made the transition from scientific curiosity to practical technology. By late 1919, experiments had begun in Britain, the United States and elsewhere that would lead to the breakthrough use of radio not just as a replacement for the telegraph, but as a communications and entertainment medium.

Some of those experiments were taking place in the laboratory of the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C., where station WWV was established to test various means of radio transmission. Relying significantly on amateur radio operators in the local area for feedback on its experiments, the Bureau began successfully testing the transmission of music in late 1919 and early 1920. It was those experiments that led to the public announcement in Scientific American.

"Music can be performed at any place, radiated into the air through an ordinary radio transmitting set and received at any other place, even though hundreds of miles away," the report continued, noting that "the music received can be made as loud as desired by suitable operation of the receiving apparatus." "Experimental concerts are at present being conducted every Friday evening from 8:30 to 11:00 by the Radio Laboratory of the Bureau of Standards....The possibilities of such centralized radio concerts are great and extremely interesting."

If anyone from that time could see all the things that are roaming around in this day and age, they really wouldn't believe it! Hell, folks from just 10 years ago would have a hard time!

Come to think of it, some of the stuff going on daily makes even my head spin!

Since it's nice and cool this morning, let's have our coffee on the patio.


Gorges Smythe said...

Various quotes, attributed to various people, tell us that if we can imagine it - we can do it. Even God, at the Tower of Babel, said that if we would work together, nothing would be impossible for us.

Duke said...

Just think the 'head banging gut rot music' of today will be the elevator music of tomorrow.

Sixbears said...

It has become common for people to regulate their moods with music. I guess people used to do that in the past, but they'd sing and play their own.

Ben in Texas said...

Thanks for the Radio History Update. When I was studying Radio for my FCC Licensing we learned that WRR in Dallas had a long History as well.
I'm pretty sure that it is the only station west of the Mississippi to have the three letter call sign that was first assigned to station East of the Mississippi
WRR Radio

JoJo said...

Interesting story. Thanks for sharing with us.
You have cold weather? I was looking at the month ahead for Tucson and I think I will talk to the people here about staying until Nov 1. the nights will be cold but the days perfect.

TROUBLEnTX said...

I told my g/dotter to just think about what has been brought into all our lives, since she was born. Then,,,go back to when i was. Just amazing.!

Now think about what will be,,in the next 50 years. LOLOLOL,,,need to get DD on that.

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
Would be nice if more of us would learn to work together, but I don't see that happening anytime soon!

I really appreciate your visit this morning!

Hey Duke...
Now that is a scary thought! Can't see some of today's "music" ever being called Golden Oldies!

Thanks so much for coming by today!

Hey Sixbears...
Music has always been able to find that certain spot inside us all!

Guess that's why there are some songs that have so much feeling in them!

Thanks, my friend, for the visit!

Hey Ben...
This is the kind of history they don't teach in the schools now days!

Always interesting to find out about where certain things come from! So much info, so little time!

Thanks, buddy, for coming over!

Hey JoJo...
I wouldn't say cold, but it is a tad cooler! I really like it, but the afternoons are still up there in the high 80s and low 90s.

Looking forward to some sweat shirt weather!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by today!

Hey Trouble...
Things change so fast, hard to keep up with them!

You have a great day...and thanks for coming over!

HoboJoe said...

Music is one of the great joys of life. Nowadays, you can carry 5,000 songs in your shirt pocket. Your head aint the the only one spinning Jim.

HermitJim said...

Hey HoboJoe...
Pretty amazing, isn't it? Just wonder what's coming next!

Thanks so much for coming by today!