With the presence of 78 records, which is said to be because they rotate at 78 rotations (RPM) per minute when playing on a gramophone, the varnished rubber material had a very wide groove, So they can ‘record’ songs in a maximum of three to four minutes.

Before digital recording, on rubber records and later on vinyl records, a needle attached to the sound source made an engraving on the material of the record while the musicians were playing. These indentations produced by needles correspond to the waves they create.

Gramophones, in turn, can reproduce sound by having a spike attached to a speaker for the enjoyment of the listeners.

The material was limited, so the disc was 10 to 12 inches in diameter. According to digital magazine Vox, the maximum duration was three to four minutes It became popular among music collectors for listening to songs of that length.

Technology has advanced but tradition has remained

The shellac record, also called the 78 RPM record, gave way to vinyl. These allow recording at 45 RPM on significantly cheaper material.

These can be sold at lower prices due to lower production costs, And more teens were able to start buying music from their favorite artists.

45 RPM records also make it possible to record three minute songs and this single became the vinyl of the song which we now call ‘single’. The American media ‘Vox’ explained how, thanks to their cheapness, it has become a tradition for radios to play songs of this period on average.

Bands like ‘Beatlemania’, Elvis Presley’s song and Beach Boys have arrived. All of them have achieved success due to the expansion of their units in the electromagnetic spectrum of the world’s radios.

Although there are longer songs, even among rock classics such as Jimmy Hendrix and Pink Floyd fragments, most of the songs that hit the radio were three minutes long for an extra element: If the songs are of a standard length, the stations can carry more ads in the radio space.

Digital Magazine Playground reports that nowadays if a song is more than four minutes long, they tend to cut or edit it to match the standard length. For this reason, tracks that are prone to trends or pop hits are, among other things, produced for this length from scratch.

Compact disc and streaming platform

After the arrival of vinyl, CD, glass disc, on which the song was recorded. But now they can hold up to 70 minutes of music on them, allowing artists to develop larger projects.

However, in the magazine ‘Vox’ they have highlighted that there are really fans who want to listen attentively to a word offer from the musicians. For the rest, the songs had to adapt to the demands of the radio, as it was the only way to reach the listeners.

With the technological boom came MP3 players, iPods and subsequent streaming platforms. For this reason, each user can curate their playlists according to their preferences and measurements.

In addition, artists no longer relied exclusively on radio royalties, but on the views and listening times of their YouTube or Spotify videos.

Classic FM, a web portal dedicated to classical music radio, reports Artists listen to music every 30 seconds, So there is more incentive for the songs to be lasting.

Now that TikTok is trending with 10 or 30 seconds of a song, they can again change the way artists create their music, It will be more interesting because it has a very interesting small part So that the audience is interested in what is being played.

It’s still a trend to hit most three-minute songs, but tradition may change. In terms of the standard length of commercial music that has changed with technological advances, it remains to be seen what the consequences will be for TikTok in the music industry.


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