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The History Of Karaoke

The History Of Karaoke

Though the real story of the emergence karaoke is still unclear, we can still trace its origin. The word “karaoke” originates from “kara” a short form of “karappo” which means “empty” and “oke” a short form of “okesutora” – orchestra. Music has been an integral part of the development of every culture in the world. The different forms of dance and entertainment added to it have made it gained more popularity over the years. The history of karaoke may be vague in its beginning, but it has truly made an impact ever since inception.

A view in a Western cultural context may regard karaoke as a further advancement in the evolution of the notion of public singing. In Western realms, this phenomenon has been steadily increasing in popularity for centuries. The roots of this form of singing can be traced back to the general process of industrialization. This was as a result of the emergence of the working classes who had desires to be identified by common interests.

Karaoke has become one of the most popular types of entertainment for children, families, and adults. In fact, many people have assigned a set time where they go out and sing karaoke with their friends. As known, karaoke tracks only have music backup. The vocals are rendered by a singer who sings with a microphone while following the words displayed in a book or on a screen.

Even if the origin of karaoke is obscure, we have somehow traced its history back to the 1970's in Japan. At that time, the Filipino musician invasion of the 1960’s and 1970’s decided to let their clients sing when their act failed to show up for the gig. So many people testified that this was the idea of Filipino. Amazingly, that act slowly gave karaoke its popularity in the late 1970’s when it began to show up all over Japan.

Initially, it was a very simple system as it requires one to put a tape on and a singer (amateur or not) would sing along with it. Then, it advanced to videos with graphics. Nowadays, the more advanced version consists of the karaoke machine that is made up of a microphone and a television screen to lead the singer. Remember when you were a kid, you’d see a song on TV and sing along, but this time the lyrics will be displayed on the television.

In the 1980s, Pioneer started producing karaoke songs on laserdisc. Victor and DKK were top Japanese companies that followed suit to produce English karaoke hits. When CDG karaoke came out, karaoke had officially hit the United States because of the playing backup tracks and lyrics across TV screens.

Karaoke initially started as supplementary entertainment, the type that served as an alternative to eating and drinking. Machines were placed in parks, restaurants, and hotels for this purpose. Not until a few years after its inception was karaoke independent, and when it did, it attracted the minds of so many individuals. The first set of karaoke bars were a small booth with a karaoke machine, called a karaoke box. The latest karaoke machine utilized all forms of media formats to play karaoke music. Then, there were VCD and DVD versions that are used household entertainment.


From the 18th century up till this moment, Hindi karaoke songs have proved their legitimacy. These Indian songs are naturally good on their own and even better when combined with other forms of music. It is not a surprise that Hindi karaoke songs are widely accepted in virtually all parts of the world. This is because their music suits any occasion whether it is a party, wedding or even dinners. The Hindi music always has something for everyone, kudos to the diversity and quality of the sounds that they incorporate into their songs.


In time past, Indian music had no formal training. Thanks to the advent of Indian karaoke songs, much advancement took place in Indian music. Abruptly, people wanted to use these Indian karaoke songs for their own mixes. Many movies have used Indian karaoke songs in the background and it has turned out to have been efficient. One amazing thing about Indian karaoke music is the style. They are very contemporary without losing their old world charm. Indeed, you’ll find out that Hindi karaoke has influenced quite a bit of Indian folk music. These days, a lot of the folk styles played in different parts of India are been utilized for the benefits of mainstream music. The new breed of karaoke music superstars has helped in the advancement of this music and a lot of people have learned to sing songs with a different beat.

In the twentieth century, karaoke gained more popularity in American culture. The advent of the “American Idol” gave talented individuals the opportunity to sing karaoke on the grand stage. Previously, the best artists would receive a free drink at the bar, a standing ovation or prize cash.


Without leaving Christians aside, karaoke songs are now used in the Christian sector. It is such a wonderful way for the church choirs to practice music. It helps the soloist a whole lot and provides great background music for the choirs, especially those that have poor music systems. Amazingly, it is a good way for the choristers to get the church audience to sing along with them. These melodies can be beneficial for younger children to practice their speech as it is very easy for children to sing than to talk. Karaoke also helps children with their pronunciation and punctuation.


In the beginning, Japanese had an interesting problem with karaoke. It was the noise factor! Though this was later resolved it was really challenging back then. The houses in Japan were very close together, so anyone singing aloud could be a distraction for the neighbors. No matter how good that song was, he/she wasn’t able to control the output of his/her voice. They looked for a solution and later found one which was the “karaoke box”. The Japanese managed to use railway cars as the first karaoke boxes to contain the music moderately.

As technology advanced, the development of home sets surfaced. Home sets allow you to sing as loud as you want at any time. There were also karaoke tapes that were made available to the public. Back then, the invention of the compact disc made it even more exciting. Compact discs offered hundreds of songs in one disc and the music comes with a lyric book which can be played with or without vocals.

The excitement of what CD’s offered increased its popularity in the market. In the late 1980’s the compact disc with graphics grew more popular and was quick to become the choice-format for those in the karaoke business. The first CD+G's (Compact Disk with Graphics karaoke) was not made for the consumers but for those in the industry. The two great companies that had a solid recognition in this karaoke format were DKK Karaoke and SAV/Nikkodo.

Many cultures in the Japan, South Korea, and China love to go out to the bars just to sing to the public. These bars were places where people relax and pour out their heart on the microphone. College students and middle-aged businessmen and women go to these places as much as seniors do. I repeat, it matters less whether or not you are a good singer before you can use karaoke. Just go all out to the stage and sing your heart, this is what people care about. This form of entertainment is mostly enjoyed late in the night as this is the time these establishments function the most.

Presently, we're embracing the continuous advancement of portable karaoke microphones. This sound device has a chip and an in-built program that houses thousands of songs. Due to its portability, it can be played anywhere you want as long as you have a device for display e.g. television. With the development of technology today, the karaoke singers can change the pitch of the music to suit the voice of the singer along with it without altering the tempo of the original songs. Karaoke discs now come with some background singers with mainly chorus as a backup.



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