How the iPod opened new doors for the way we listen

Posted on: January 12, 2011

In Tuesday’s (1/11) San Francisco Classical Voice, Matthew Cmiel writes, “The iPod (and, by extension, iTunes) not only revolutionized the world’s listening habits early in the last decade, expanding the sheer variety of music people listen to; it also changed the manner in which people think of and hear music. … The most significant musical inventions from Apple’s iPod (and, by extension, iTunes) are the shuffle, the mashup, and the playlist. … Composers who drew their influences from Perotin and Stevie Wonder and traditional Indian ragas were heard to apparently have things in common. These elements come up in a random shuffle, and hearing them juxtaposed became commonplace. So these days, composers who are tuned in to such devices and aren’t technophobes can continue to draw inspiration from all over the map and across time. … Every time I sit down to start composing a new piece of music, I create a playlist. I recently wrote a woodwind quintet, so I prepared a playlist of all the woodwind quintets I had or could find. Last year, I was writing a piece and having difficulty with the slow ending, so I made a playlist of every piece that has a slow ending, then slowly weeded out the pieces I felt were less applicable to my scenario.”

Posted January 12, 2011