Musical Inventions In The 21st Century
August 16, 2016
Rachelle Wilber in CD, Music Tech, electric, engineer, sound

The 21st century is shaping up to be a very interesting decade for music. How we listen and create this ancient art has changed dramatically with the explosion of technological innovation. Ways of composing and creating that were common to past decades have swiftly become obsolete. In this short article, we will take a look at a few of the major innovations of the 21st century that have had a profound effect on music.

The iPod

It is amazing to think that Apple’s iPod was only released back in 2001. Before then, the main way we got our music was from the local CD shop. And before that, cassettes were all the rage. And before that, records. You get the picture. This portable music player totally changed the way we think about consuming music, and it totally demolished older businesses in its wake. To date, this MP3 player has sold well over 300 million products since it was released in 2001.

Electrical Engineering Meets Musicians

The sounds and sparks of modernity have their beginning in the study of electrical engineering in the 19th century. Since the transistor was invented, electronics have become a part of everyone’s home, which has made the job of the electrical engineer ever more important to keep our grand machinery running. Some people have even received an MS degree in electrical engineering to learn more about this unique field. In terms of music, many people with skills in electronics have begun to create their own instruments and their own unique styles to give expression to our times. One such artist is Author & Punisher who creates and uses fabricated machines to make music that reflects the industrial world in which we live.

Flower Sound

The Japanese product called the Ka-on, or “flower sound,” is a magnetic coil that wraps around a flower’s vase and lets listeners hear and watch their flowers dance. The electronic signals sent up the plant and into CD players creates a kind of natural music, the likes of which we have never heard before. This product extends the life of plants by warding off bugs and supplying the plant with an electric current. In case you ever wondered what you plants were thinking, developers of the Ka-on will enable a speaker function soon so users can talk with their plants.

Technology will only increase with time. The further we go with technology, the more profound we can expect it to play a role in how people create and consume music. If these innovations are any indication, it looks like electronic technology will only play a greater role in how we interact and interpret the world, especially with music.

Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (
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