By Maynard Solomon
On the social gathering of Mozart's 200 and 50th birthday, learn Maynard Solomon's Mozart: A Life, universally hailed because the Mozart biography of our time.
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Long-form programming did exist, but radio has always been a singlesbased medium. It’s a Long-Playing World So radio helped promote the recording industry, and the recording industry powered radio. It was a nice symbiotic relationship. As could be expected, of course, the record industry evolved over time, always due to technological developments. The next big change happened in the late 1940s and early 1950s, when the original 78 RPM discs gave way to long playing (LP) records. Originally developed by Columbia Records in 1948, LPs let music labels put more music on a disc.
So if you were a music lover around the turn of the century, you played it yourself on your own piano from sheet music you purchased at your local music store. Now, this process wasn’t quite as immediate as what you get with today’s digital distribution; it took longer for a song to become a hit, but hits were made nonetheless. In fact, the most popular sheet music of the day sold millions of 13 1 14 1 PA R T I Understanding Digital Music copies—not unlike what a hit song sells today. ) And note something about how music was distributed then—on a song-bysong basis.
By 1988, CD sales had surpassed sales of vinyl records, peaking in 2000 at close to 950 million units. Going Digital Since the turn of the millennium, however, CD sales have gone downhill. That’s due to a number of factors, including a dearth of talent and an increasing fragmentation of genres. But probably the most significant reason for the slide in sales of physical music product is the shift to virtual products—digital music downloaded from the Internet. With the rise of the Internet in the late 1990s, music lovers found they could download the songs they wanted from a variety of legitimate and illegitimate websites.