Often different people have absolutely polar associations with the word "karaoke". Someone who likes karaoke likes to sing, participate in competitions and tournaments, feel like a star with a microphone on stage and plunges into the atmosphere of an entertainment facility. Others when hearing the word "karaoke" will tell you about the fall of morals, lack of respect towards the author of the song, the way a respected man in the karaoke bar turns into a pathetic clown, and so on. In general, they will do their utmost to prove that karaoke is evil!
Whatever it is, the word and concept of "karaoke" have very tightly intertwined with both our leisure and business for a long time. We meet with karaoke, even more often than we suspect. For someone it is rest and a distraction, for others – it is their job, others view it as a business and someone even builds a career of a broadcaster or a future artist with the help of karaoke.
We’ll discuss all of these manifestations of "karaoke" in our lives in this article.
A brief history of karaoke
As any information resource on the Internet states, the word "karaoke" is derived from two Japanese words "kara" - empty and «ōkesutora» - orchestra. It is obvious, that if the name is derived from Japanese words, then "karaoke" was invented in Japan. It happened in 1971, when during the intermission of the concert one Japanese musician came up with an idea to hand in the lyrics of songs to the audience and to play backing tracks (phonograms or music without words). So people are singing, and musicians are resting. Everyone is busy, and satisfied.
But in the 70s the "direction in art" did not become widespread, and our infamous Japanese musician has even been awarded the so-called "Ig Nobel Prize" for the most stupid and useless invention.
However, as time has shown, the jury, which presented the award, was very clear-sighted. After a few decades karaoke received the widest dissemination in all spheres of life of people on all continents without exception.
Today, thanks to advances in technology, we can enjoy our singing not only in karaoke clubs and restaurants, but also at home, in the car, on vacation, on our way somewhere, in general, wherever we want.
Karaoke as a new subculture
Naturally, with such a rampant desire, "karaoke" being originally a simple form of entertainment, gave birth to a whole subculture. And this is not surprising, because with the help of karaoke people can not only satisfy their natural desire to sing, but also realize their ambitions and overcome their insecurities. Anyone can feel like a star with a microphone in their hands on a more or less professional stage and plunged into the spotlight and high-quality sound. No one will say a word in case you mix the lyrics, sing out of tune or do not feel the rhythm. No one, even the snappiest music critic will write a slashing article about you, nor tell about this on one of the popular TV shows.
Therefore, those, who like to sing and amateurs come to special clubs, in which they enjoy the atmosphere and communication with each other. Frequently, they hold contests in such facilities, and even entire tournaments for visitors. You can win a variety of prizes in such competitions, from membership cards and free entry to a chance to perform on a professional stage.
Not surprisingly, karaoke gradually migrated from the clubs and bars to television. To date, there are dozens of television projects, in which non-professional performers who have passed the preliminary selection, compete in their vocals. Cash and possibility of further career with a professional producer can serve as the reward for the winners. Yet the most important award is recognition and love of the audience.
Also interesting is the fact that earlier manufacturers of karaoke systems had to pay right holders of phonograms for using them, but today the situation is sometimes totally different - performers and songwriters offer money to manufacturers for having their phonograms included in karaoke systems for their greater popularization. That is, karaoke, having been a stupid and useless invention has become a tool for promotion of songs and their performers.
Thanks to the unstoppable development of social networks, karaoke lovers now have the opportunity to communicate in groups and communities dedicated to karaoke. Now you can share new phonograms, opinions about different clubs, talk about the opening of new entertainment facilities or the release of a new album of your favourite artist with your friends. Also you can find many websites specializing in karaoke on the Internet where there is all the information about both songs and clubs and new equipment, which is very necessary for quality sound karaoke.
From all of this we can conclude that karaoke has become a real subculture, to be reckoned with, whether you like it or not.