Timeline home

History of music and technology

  • Edison-Phonograph

    Edison invents the "Phonograph". Used cylindrical wax tubes.
  • Emile Berliner-MIcrophone

    Emile Berliner invents the first microphone and sells the design to Bell Telephone.
  • Emile Berliner-Gramophone

    Emile Berliner invents the first flat record player called the gramophone. She licensed recording companies that made 70" records.
  • Valdemar Poulsen-Magnetic recording

    Vlademar Poulsen invents magnetic wire recording.
  • Louis Glass-Modern jukebox

    Louis Glass invents the modern Jukebox and instals it in the Palais Saloon. Much like jukeboxes today, Louis Glass' version was a coin operated phonograph.
  • THe international Copyright Aggrement

    The International Copyright agreement is adopted in other countries.
  • Music business gets bigger

    People and companies take the music industry more seriously and start renting office space for the purpose of recording.
  • "Ater the Ball"

    The first "million seller" was "After the Ball" by Chrles K. Haris. (Composer, and publisher.)
  • Music in Movies

    The Lumiere Brothers use a piano acompaniment with the motion picture program.
  • Wireless Telegraphy

    Guglielmo Marconi is granted the first patent for Wireless telegraphy.
  • Flat disk Mass-Productiohn

    Eldredge Johnson perfecrs first system of mass duplication of records.
  • "The Electric Theater"

    Opened by Tomas L Tally in Los Angeles: First Nickelodeon.
  • "Victorola"

    RCA Victorola model record player is introduced. It has a variable turntable.
  • Double sided phonograph

    First double sided phonograph record introduced by columbia.
  • First public radio broadcast

    Charles "doc" Herrold begins the first public radio broadcasting of voice and music from San Jose, California.
  • Columbia drops cylinders

    Disk recordings overtake cylinders in the popular market.
  • Edison Co. disk player

    Edison Co. introduces a disk player, since the cylinder market is gone.
  • "The Squaw Man"

    Cecil B. DeMille and Jesse Lasky produce the first "feature-length" film.
  • Transcontinental Phonecall

    From New York to San Francisco.
  • "Record Changer"

    The first automatic record changer turntable is patented for a stack of 78's.
  • Device to sync music to movies

    The first device that is connected by gears to the projector on a 16' turntable. An operator would have to constantly sync the music with the frame of the projector.
  • 33.5 RPm sync system

    Bell Labs. Develops 33.5 rpm disk system to sync a music track for Warner Bros. Film "Don Juan"
  • Mechanical Television invented

    Scotsman John Logie Baird invents mechanical television which he calls a "Televisor".
  • Standardized phonograph RPM

    RCA convinces phonograph producers to standardize on 78.26 RPM
  • FIrst Music Chart of Performed Songs

    Billboard magazine publishes its first music chart of performed songs.
  • Television demonstration

    Scotsman John Logie Baird demonstrates his mechanical television. The signal is broadcasted from England to the United States.
  • Edison Co. Staps Audio production.

    Edison Co. Stops the manufacturing of sound recordings.
  • Don Lee radio chain joins CBS

    The Don Lee Radio broadcast chain joins CBS. The name is later changed to Mutual in 1936.
  • "It Don't Mean a Thaing if it Ain't Got That Swing"

    The Duke Ellington recording of "It Don't Mean a Thaing if it Ain't Got That Swing" starts the "swing music" dance craze.
  • First magnetic tape recorder.

    AEG/Telefunken shows the first magnetic tape recorder in germany.
  • "Pepsi Cola Hits The Spot"

    Eric Siday and Ginger Johnson wrote the first radio jingle titled. "Pepsi Cola Hits The Spot"
  • FM Broadcasting begins

    Regular FM broadcasting begins in Ney York.
  • ASCAP Feuds with Radio Networks

    This spawns the birth of a rival U.S. performance based recording and radion industry.
  • Recording ban

    James Petrillo's American Feeration of Musicians Union begins a recording ban to force record companies to pay royalties. This starts the decline of the Big Band era.
  • Period: to

    Magnetic tape recordings brought to america

    Captured German magnetic tape recorders brought to the United States which are copied for commercial use
  • Magnetic recordings brought to America

    Captured German magnetic tape recorders brought to the United States which are copied for commercial use.
  • Worlds first transistor

    assembles the world's first transistor.
  • 33 1\3 LP

    The commercial 33 1/3 LP (Long Playing) microgroove (1-mil) disc is introduced by Dr. Peter Goldmark of Columbia Records; the first LP disk is released; it is 10" Columbia record #4001 performed by classical violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
  • AES fouded

    The Audio Engineering Society (The AES) is formed.
  • 45 RPM Phonograph records

    RCA Victor responds to the LP by developing large-hole 45 rpm phonograph records; although the effort failed to kill LPs, RCA's 45s eventually had the unintended consequence of replacing 78s as the preferred media format for singles.
  • First ID jingle

    The first ID jingle company to "sing-over" pre-recorded backgrounds - PAMS, Inc. is formed in Dallas, Texas by former radio studio musician Bill Meeks on August 20, 1951.
  • RIAA formed

    • The Recording Industry Association of America (the RIAA) is formed in order to facilitate technical standardization of phonograph recording & reproduction; It invited engineers from U.S. record companies to discuss proposed standards including a pre-emphasis equalization curve that would optimize the performance of playback systems in attenuating unwanted surface noise and rumble, etc.
  • RIAAdefines standardizations in record companies

    RCA proposes to the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) that it adopt RCA's "New Orthophonic" recording characteristic as its standard to define equalization crossover points and rolloff characteristics for records. But the RIAA doesn't officially endorse this standard for 3 more years (1956), and it would take four more years (until 1957) for the last U.S. manufacturer to change their "equalization" curves to the the RIAA standard.
  • First recorded reel-reel tape

    The first pre-recorded reel-to-reel tape (at 7 1/2 ips) is offered for sale.
  • Stereo disks offered for sale

    Compatible Stereo disks and record players are offered for sale (33 1/3 and 45rpm.)
  • first solid state tv

    Sony introduces the first "solid-state" TV set, using transistors instead of vacuum tubes.
  • FM Broadcasting begins

    1961 - FM Stereo radio broadcasting begins and FM slowly starts to gain respect
  • Analog tape recordings

    Multitrack analog tape recording starts being used in recording studios.
  • Compact cassetes

    Compact stereo tape cassettes and players are developed by Phillips.
  • First computer mouse

    Douglas C. Engelbart demonstrates the first computer mouse (made of wood.)
  • 8-track tape

    The 8-track stereo tape cartridge is developed for automobile use by Lear
  • Noise Reduction

    The "Dolby-A" professional noise reduction system is used in some recording studios
  • Dolby B noise reduction

    The "Dolby-B" noise reduction system is introduced for consumer reel-to-reel and cassette tape recorders
  • First micro processor

    The first Microprocessor (computer on a chip) is introduced by Intel -- the 4004
  • Internet link

    The Internet begins as a link between four university labs, called ARPANET
  • First disco record on US radio

    Gloria Gaynor records "Never Can Say Goodbye" -- the first disco record on US radio
  • Quadraphonic

    The first consumer effort in surround sound -- 4-channel "Quadraphonic" (nicknamed "Quad") LP records were released on various record labels: Project 3 and Ovation called it "E-V Stereo-4", while Vanguard and Reprise called it "Dynaquad". Unfortunately, the lack of standardization among manufacturers of various LP's, 8-track, cassettes and reel-to-reel tape formats caused consumer confusion and doomed the effort.
  • first microcomputer

    New Mexico calculator company MIPS introduces the first "micro-computer", the Altair, which is sold as a kit you put together. (Later MIPS founder returns to his original profession as a local physician.)
  • Bill Gates drops out of harvord

    Bill Gates drops out of Harvard, moves to New Mexico to develop software for the new MIPS Altair "micro-computer" with Paul Allen under the name "MicroSoft."
  • First cell phone network

    Martin Cooper of Motorola conceived the first cellular phone system, and led the 10-year process of bringing it to market.
  • Video cameras

    The first all solid-state video cameras are introduced using Bell Labs "CCD" (charge-coupled device) instead of an Image Orthicon or Plumbicon camera tube
  • NBC Radio ends

    NBC's weekend radio format MONITOR is cancelled after nearly 20 years -- It's final broadcast airs on Sunday, January 26th.
  • 4-channel noise reduction

    A four-channel noise reduction system for optical sound tracks on 35mm film is introduced by Dolby labs (originally called "Dolby Stereo".)
  • Motion picture stabilizer

    Garrett Brown invents the gyroscopic Steadicam, a motion picture camera stabilizer mount, worn by the cameraman himself, first used in the movie "Rocky."
  • Top 40

    The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight", is the first hip-hop record to reach Top 40 radio
  • MTV music

    The MTV Music TV Cable Network debuts on the air at Midnight, August 1st.
  • First IBM personal computer

    The first IBM-brand "PC" (for "Personal Computer") is released on August 12th --"Personal Computer" becomes the popular name of what used to be called a "micro-computer" system; It uses the "DOS" -- Disk Operating System -- provided byenterprenour Bill Gates who bought the rights to it from a local company in Seattle for a pittance, and resold it under his company's name -- "Microsoft"
  • Digital compact disc

    The digital Compact Disc (CD) is introduced by a Japanese conglomerate.
  • First CD released

    The first CD released (in Japan) is Billy Joel's "52nd Street" (October, 1982.)
  • Very first computer virus

    In November, U.S. computing student Fred Cohen created the very first computer virus -- as a research project.
  • First CD titles

    The first CD titles are released in the US in June (12 CBS, 15 Telarc, 30 Denon.)
  • Stereo Television broadcast

    NBC broadcasts the first television programs with stereo sound.
  • Apple Macintosh

    The (128K) Apple Macintosh personal computer debuts with a Graphical User Interface advertised as "the computer for the rest of us", expected sales of 50,000 the first monthat $2495, the industry (and Apple) is surprised when 75,000 orders pour in...perhaps due in part to a novel TV ad aired during the Football Superbowl game.
  • LP sales drop

    Adoption of the CD starts taking a huge bite out of LP sales, causing them to drop 25%.
  • RIAA announces CD have overtaken LPs

    The Recording Industry Association of America (the RIAA) announces on June 19 that CDs have overtaken LP sales in the U.S.
  • Digital tape recorder

    Phillips introduces a digital audio tape recorder (DAT) using a digital casette
  • COmpressed audio in movies

    The Moving Picture Experts Group MPEG-1 Audio Layer III (MP3) compressed audio file format becomes an international standard, and eventually the most popular format for distributing digital audio over the Internet.
  • Barcode Tracking

    The "SoundScan" barcode tracking system of reporting music recording sales begins to bring accurate sales figures to record charts; Country music is now a bigger segment.
  • Computers outsell tv

    Personal computers outsell TV sets for the first time in the United States.
  • Auctionweb.com

    The online auction community eBay starts out as "AuctionWeb.com", programmed by General Magic engineer Pierre Omidyar who started it as a hobby project. It debuts on the Web in September 1995, and 10 years later in September, 2005 eBay will boast 157 million registered users worldwide, 75 million in the U.S.
  • Drop in music sales

    The first year recording sales actually declined -- record industry blames online music swapping as the cause and tried to advance digital copy protection schemes.
  • DVD recorders

    Consumer DVD recorders were introduced at the Comdex Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas priced at $1000, but by the 2001 show came down to around $500; these video recorders can hold up to 4.7 gigabytes of video and multimedia content
  • E-books

    Digital electronic books (E-Books) become a small part of the publishing industry, and several competing companies attempt to introduce the standards for them.
  • NApstar Forced to filter content

    Napster is forced to "filter out" content due to RIAA lawsuit; hints at fees to come other free peer-to-peer software including Gnutella are developed to take Napster's place
  • Faster computer chips

    Intel announces a breakthrough in the speed of computer processing chips that will make computers several THOUSAND times faster; first systems expected to be sold in 2007
  • DVD memory indcreased

    Music DVD's are introduced which can contain 7 - 10 times the amount of music, or multimedia content to augment the usual sound recordings.
  • TV screens junked up

    The TV screen gets more junked up by "crawls" -- banners at the bottom of the screen, and other distracting divisions of the screen in imitation of computer desktops.
  • DVD video outsells VHS

    DVD video disk players outsell VHS video cassette recorder/players for the first time.
  • Televisions required to have digital recievers

    The F.C.C. (U.S. Federal Communications Commision) requires all new U.S. television TV sets to include digital receivers in order to help the transition to digital transmission by February 17, 2009.
  • Itunes

    Apple Computer introduces a downloadable music service via its iTunes music application which proved that people would pay 99-cents-per-tune to download music legally in the wake of peer-to-peer free (but illegal) file swapping