Man-made versus Reproduced Music

The Menace of Mechanical Music

From Appleton’s Magazine from 1906, I present some of the most impressive prognostication of all time.

Children are naturally imitative, and if, in their infancy, they hear only phonographs, will they not sing, if they sing at all, in imitation and finally become simply human phonographs – without soul or expression? Congregational singing will suffer also, which, though crude at times, at least improves the respiration of many a weary sinner and softens the voices of those who live amid tumult and noise.

If you have not read “The Menace of Mechanical Music,” I heartily invite you to peruse the entire article. It’s not really long, and what John Philip Sousa wrote more than a century ago contains startlingly accurate descriptions of what we experience in our lives today.


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