Enjoy The Music!
Ever since the Paleolithic era, when "hard rock" was a literal description, and humanity's catchiest tunes were played by rhythmically banging stones together, people have loved music. We've probably played it, sung it, chanted it, danced to it, and loved it for as long as we've had language – and maybe even longer, if animal behavior is any indication of the behavior of our far-most-distant ancestors.
Music has been part of, or background for, just about every aspect of our culture — from mothers singing their infants to sleep, to religious ritual, to every other kind of ceremony, to courtship and love-making, to entertainment, to getting through the work day, to riding in a car to go shopping; to riding in an elevator when we get there; and to hearing in the store, while we shop. As movie music, it helps to shape our emotional response to the scene, and, in the military, it incites us forward to war. When people are together, music is there, too. And when we're alone, who doesn't sing in the shower or whistle when he's happy or against the dark? Of all of humanity's accomplishments, music must certainly be one of the most ubiquitous.
In times past, if people wanted music, they had to either make it themselves or listen to others perform it "live", at home, at a social function, or at a concert. Because of this, music, of whatever kind, purpose, or era, was a regular part of everyone's education, formal or otherwise.
With the coming of the phonograph, though, not all that much more than just a single century ago, (Thomas Edison first started recording sound in 1877) the whole world changed: People could now keep their music and listen to it whenever they wanted to. Not only that, but they could listen to music performed by people they had never met, who might have been from places they never been; from cultures they had never known; and even from times long gone.
The coming of radio made music even more universally available — you didn't need to own your own record player, and you didn't have to buy or have physical access to every piece of music you ever wanted to hear. Someone (the DJ), would even change discs or flip sides for you, and you didn't have to lift a finger (or a tonearm) to be able to enjoy whatever was in the station's record library or came along as the very latest new release!
Television, the internet, and, most recently, streaming have all enhanced music's accessibility and, since the 1940s and 1950s — just three quarters of a century ago, at most — high fidelity sound and stereo, its best manifestation, have made music reproduction so good that the very best systems, in the acoustically very best listening rooms (Note that I didn't say the very most expensive in either case), can really (NO "puff", NO hype, NO exaggeration) make you feel like you've somehow been physically transported to the actual time and venue of the music, and could, if you wanted to, shake the musicians' hands and thank them when the performance is over.
This is a truly remarkable accomplishment. In fact, it's two truly remarkable accomplishments: The first is that now, through the powers of recording and universal availability, people everywhere can be exposed to a broader and deeper range of music, musical styles, and musical performances than even the grandest mogul of past times could ever have experienced, regardless of his power or willingness to pay for it. (Even though King George III of England, to name just one high-born music lover, had George Frederick Handel and a full orchestra of court musicians as his personal music source, and could "order-up" music to be written and privately performed for any occasion – an after dinner fireworks display, for example, or even a boat ride — he couldn't ever re-listen to any favorite performance or ever hear any bit of music played even a single minute past or a single mile away!)
The second thing is that, even though live music in our homes, played by us or others, is now rare, we can still enjoy the feeling of it through the dedication, skills, and advanced technology of the recording and home audio industries.
Those massive changes have both happened in just the last three quarters of a century. And for a full one of those quarter-centuries — twenty-five years — Enjoy the Music.com, the brain-child and loving hobby of Steven R. Rochlin, its Creative Director, has been actively working to foster them and bring the good news to us all.
Enjoy the Music.com is now celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary and entering into its next quarter-century of service to music and to us who love it. By bringing reports on the latest equipment, recordings, industry news, and everything else of special interest to the audiophile and music-lover communities, Steven and this publication are supporting and furthering a tradition as old as mankind and as important as any other I can think of.
Now, I'm going to go bang two rocks together for a while