Music Throughout the Decades


Without anything to listen to music on, people would buy sheet music to play music on instruments at home. The most popular company that sold sheet music was Tin Pan Alley. Ragtime was the most popular out of all types of sheet music.
Music was one of the most popular way for entertainment.
Many people could play instruments.

The piano was the most popular "at-home" instrument.


So many songs from this decade were based on World War I. Music was an escape for people suffering from the effects of war. A huge use of music for an escape was during the sinking of Titanic. The band that played every night at dinner played music throughout the sinking of the ship.

Radio was introduced in this decade.

Jazz was one of the biggest types of music in this decade. It first appeared in print in 1913. Jazz came from a mixture of the blues and ragtime.

Musicals and Broadway shows started in this decade.


The 20s were marked the beginning of the "Modern Music Era".

"Roaring 20s".

The acoustical reading process was replaced with electrical reading process.

Independent record labels began to appear.

Broadway shows and music were beginning to be made into movies in the second half of the decade.

During this decade radio became very popular and 60 percent of American households had a radio. By 1922, 600 radio stations popped up all around america.


In this decade, African - American musicians were not allowed to do radio or studio work.

Dance halls became very popular in this decade. The music often played was called "swing" music.

Many popular musicians from this time were Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, and Ben Webster.

Time of the Great Depression. Many songs were written about the misfortunes of the Depression.


Titled the "decade of the crooner".

Crooner: a singer, typically a male one, who sings sentimental songs in a soft, low voice

Some of the most well-known "crooners" are Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Perry Como.

In the 40s, radios began to censor music, which still goes on today. An example of the music that was "offensive" is from the song "When I'm Cleaning the Windows" by George Formby.

Swing and Jazz were still very popular types of music. Large orchestras and opera were beginning to become popular in this decade.

The blushing bride she looks divine
The bridegroom he is doing fine
I'd rather have his job than mine
When I'm cleaning windows


The decade that started Rock and Roll. Elvis Presley was extremely popular during this decade.

The 50s was a time of innovation for the music industry.

Two African American owned labels, one of which would become hugely successful, made their debut.

Rock and Roll started to become popular in the early 50s and by the end of the decade it spread to all over the world. The electric guitar became very popular and lead to the development of Rock and Roll.

Honky - tonk style music dominated the country genre during this decade.


The 60s was the decade that revolutionized music forever. The music written in the 60s was very angry and hurt. The war and assassination of JFK took a major part in the hurt in artists' lyrics.

A lot of music was written for civil rights movements.

The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin are some of the many bands from the sixties people today still listen to.

The record player was very popular in this decade.


The 70s is considered the "musical bridge" between popular genres in the 60s and 80s. The 70s is a mix of the rebellious 60s and the happy 80s.

Many songs written in the 70s were relaxing and "dance" music. This created the disco movement. The rebellious music still left over from the 60s was then referred to as "punk music".

Many of the songs written were about peace and social climates.

"Hippie Decade"


The 80s was all about image. Music videos became essential to a musician. MTV influenced people and musicians alike. The first music videos were made to be on MTV, and were first showed August 1st, 1981. Music videos were introduced by "video jockeys".

Although, in the late 1980s MTV began running non-video programming.

"Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles was the first music video aired on MTV.

Hip Hop, New Wave, and Hair Metal were all introduced in this decade and still influence artists today.

This decade was the start of CDs.


Filled with a variety of pop, rap, and alternative music.

Started the idea of a "one-hit wonder".

In the mid 90s the techno music greatly changed into soft grunge and alternative rock. Music in the 90s changed so often and so greatly, it created the diversity we have today.

The 90s made boy bands extremely popular.

2000s -Today

Many people consider the 2000s to be the worst decade in music history.

This decade started auto- tune, which meant almost anyone could sing if they wanted too.

The meaning behind music drastically went downhill when lyrics had more profanity and sexual themes than any other decade.

The 2000s became known as the "digital age" im music. Almost all music was created and listened too on the computer by the end of the decade.


I think the music in the future will only becoming more meaningless. Although not all genres of music are pointless nowadays, many of the songs that are popular have no real meaning. I hope that one day music regains the meaning and specialty it had in earlier decades.

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