IMPACT OF DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS ON MUSIC EDUCATION TODAY










In partial fulfillment for requirements for
CMPS 533
SPRING 2004





Dr. Thomas
Telecommunications 
Computer Science Department
Southern University 






Elizabeth Cobbins






Preface

Digital Communications technology has revolutionized telecommunications and computer industries over the last decade. Let’s take a glance back at the history of technology, educational technology, and music technology to determine how closely each area is related. (See figure A)
The telegraph—the first form of data communications---was invented just before 1840 and was used for short text messages. However, it was difficult to use and required special operators. Companies never adopted it for widespread internal operations.
Thomas Edison lead the way in transferring sound with his experiments with sound recording, and the telephone. The typewriter, cathode ray tube, movie machine, and radio signals are the antiquated tools that have lead to the digital age. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that the public network started taking advantage of the superiority of digital service. The digital age has changed the way we communicate. Today we use various multimedia tools and resources to communicate. Music and the arts are the most integral parts of multimedia communications now days. 
Today, the musicians and songwriters not only need to be creative but they must be adept in operating high tech equipment in order to be successful. The science of sound and physics are the rudiments to understanding multimedia and digital communication tools. The way we communicate and transfer multimedia presentations and data over the 
Web requires the same expertise. Musicians must understand the following as routine knowledge:

The distribution of high quality digital audio over the Internet of both real time performances and commercial releases will soon become a routine.

All musical instruments and genres can take advantage of Hard Disk Recording and Editing Digital Signal Processing allows flexible and quick real time effects editing.

Compositions can be produced directly into a format for distribution, web streaming content and multimedia production. 

A musician can be freed from being dependent upon another musician's schedule, as various parts of a performance can be encoded and e-mailed between parties.

Digital communication technology provides the opportunity for the musician to have some real control over production, recording, mastering and distribution. 

Almost all music is distributed today in digital, rather than analog, form. Until recently, most digital music was sold in containers called compact discs. Developed and refined between 1965 and 1985, compact-disc technology swept the consumer market during the late 1980s and early 1990s, displacing almost completely long-play vinyl albums. In the past few years, a new method of distributing digital music has become increasingly popular: transmission of containerless files via the Internet, followed by storage on home computers. Music distributed in this manner typically is replayed either through stereo systems attached to the home computers or through portable devices analogous to the "Walkman."
The technology that has made this new method convenient and popular is MP3, an audio compression file format. Musical files compressed using MP3 occupy approximately 1/12 of the disk space occupied by uncompressed files, enabling them to be transmitted faster and stored more easily. Two groups have embraced MP3 technology especially enthusiastically. First, musicians unable to obtain recording contracts with the major record companies have found that, at modest cost, they can record their material in MP3 format and then make it available over the Internet. Second, high school and college students have discovered that they can obtain on the Internet MP3 copies of most of the songs of their favorite musicians. A high percentage of the MP3 recordings available in this manner were prepared without the permission of the owners of the copyrights in the music.

Figure A: Technology, Music Technology, and Educational Timeline Comparison.






THE IMPACT OF DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS ON MUSIC EDUCATION TODAY



Today’s communications technology deals with transporting digital information or quantized and/or compressed speech, audio, image and video, reliably from a source to a destination; depending on the transmission media, the bandwidth available, the tolerance of error and delay of the information to be transmitted, and the complexity allowed in the system.

Digital communications has become an important tool in education today. Global networks of multimedia computers, on-line libraries, student-centered “learning-ware,” and enhanced digital communications in general have improved access to high-quality education. These new developments could not have been accomplished before digital communications tools became available. There is an exciting ferment in the entire field, both within and traditional institutions of higher education.

There is a significant correlation between new music technology tools and digital communications technology. For the past century, a new technology has changed the music industry every quarter century. By the turn of the 20th century the middle class had adopted phonographs as their preferred way of listening to music. In the mid-1920s, electrical recording provided in clearer recordings than had ever been possible. After World War II, three innovations, tape recording, the long-playing, high fidelity record, and FM radio, led to an unprecedented flowering of musical styles and sonic experimentation. Today, musicians can turn a laptop computer into a recording studio. 

Understanding these tools have changed the way that musicians are employed. Music companies can now offer their digital services to almost any country in the world. These concepts have filtered over into the field of education. Because of “distance learning” students can enroll into major colleges, universities, and schools all over the continental U. S. Digital communication is redefining education in general. Digital communications have overwhelmed the music industry. Music educators should grab hold of this new information, and these new tools to improve multimedia presentations in their classrooms. 




There are several new tools that are ideal for a digital music classroom. The following chart is a list of digital communications technology tools that are ideal for the music educator.


Digital 
Communications Technology Description More Info
PC 1) Personal Computer 2) Any computer based on the Intel-based design of the IBM Personal Computer 3) Specifically the IBM Personal Computer (Model 5130?)


PCs only utilize the most basic capabilities of digital music. Typically, a single application performs the music importation, song data tracking, play list generation, and file playback. Users rely on the existing Internet browser to download music files from the Internet.
Internally, computers are digital because they consist of discrete units called bits that are either on or off. But by combining many bits in complex ways, computers simulate analog events. In one sense, this is what computer science is all about. 

Internet The Internet refers to the worldwide system of linked computers by which users may share information in a variety of ways, using many various protocols, including e-mail, list-servers, news-groups, file transfer, gopher, and the world wide web. 
A global networks connecting millions of computers. More than 100 countries are linked into exchanges of data, news and opinions. 
Unlike online services, which are centrally controlled, the Internet is decentralized by design. Each Internet computer, called a host, is independent. Its operators can choose which Internet services to use and which local services to make available to the global Internet community. Remarkably, this anarchy by design works exceedingly well. 

World Wide Web A. system of Internet 
Servers that support specially formatted documents. The documents are formatted in a markup language called HTML (HyperText Markup Language) that supports links to other documents, as well as graphics, audio, and video files. The World Wide Web is a hypermedia environment that establishes a graphical user interface for the Internet accessible only through "browsing" applications.

News Groups Same as forum, an on-line discussion group. On the Internet, there are literally thousands of newsgroups covering every conceivable interest. To view and post messages to a newsgroup, you need a newsreader, a program that runs on your computer and connects you to a news server on the Internet. 
News-groups allow users to post and respond to information, questions, and files 
accessible on the Internet.

List Servers List-servers automatically distribute email messages among all that subscribe to lists based on their special interests. A server that manages mailing lists for groups of users. Two of the most popular mailing list server systems for the Internet are Listserv and Majordomo

CD Known by its abbreviation, CD, a compact disc is a polycarbonate with one or more metal layers capable of storing digital information. The most prevalent types of compact discs are those used by the music industry to store digital recordings and CD-ROMs used to store computer data. Both of these types of compact disc are read-only, which means that once the data has been recorded onto them, they can only be read, or played
The music itself exists in an analog form, as waves in the air, but these sounds are then translated into a digital form that is encoded onto the disk. When you play a compact disc, the CD player reads the digital data, translates it back into its original analog form, and sends it to the amplifier and eventually the speakers. 

Satellite Digital Radio Satellite Digital Radio is analogous to cable TV. Two satellite companies in the United States have launch satellites capable of transmitting digital radio signals With Satellite Digital Radio, you have the power to choose what you want to hear whenever or wherever you want it. The signal is beamed from two huge earth-station antennas to broadcast satellites.

Digital Cable Modem A modem designed to operate over cable TV lines. Because the coaxial cable used by cable TV provides much greater bandwidth than telephone lines, a cable modem can be used to achieve extremely fast access to the World Wide Web. This, combined with the fact that millions of homes are already wired for cable TV, has made the cable modem something of a holy grail for Internet and cable TV companies. Digital Cable TV has several advantages. So much so, that thirteen percent of subscribers were in digital cable territories by the end of 2000.
Digital Video Recorder Digital Video Recorders are set-top boxes that let people record, store and play back television programs. When they first appeared in 2000, the two main brands were TiVo and Replay TV. In September 2000, Replay-TV took its hardware product off the market and now sells a software version for cable operators to integrate into their set-top boxes.
If personal video recorders become popular, they will have far-reaching consequences for how companies advertise as more viewers skip commercials.

Video Conferencing Technology Web Conferencing Technology such as Microsoft can provide online video conferencing capabilities. Educators can use this service for remote training and education.
A product developed by Microsoft Corporation that enables groups to teleconference using the Internet as the transmission medium. NetMeeting supports Voice on the Net, chat sessions, a whiteboard, and application sharing. It's built into Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser. 

Digital Audio Broadcasting Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) in the general sense means delivery of high quality digital audio from a single source (broadcast station) to many end users. Internet multi-casting and streaming is one application, but wireless digital-audio broadcasting systems are of special interests. For wireless applications bandwidth is a scarce resource, and the use of audio compression is critical. 
Sound broadcasting in which the signal is converted into and broadcast as a stream of digital data bits so as to eliminate atmospheric or other interference.
The goal is to provide net bandwidth equal to a T1 (1536000 bits/s) with a net BER of 10^-9 or better over a 150khz wide VHF channel with 50khz guard-bands separating neighboring channels. This corresponds to the channel allocation scheme for current-day VHF WBFM audio broadcasting. Furthermore, coexistence with existing VHF WBFM, with alternate-channel interference no more objectionable than that of a WBFM signal of similar service contours, is a requirement. It is not felt that proper receiver operation in the absence of a proper antenna of some sort is a requirement. 




Streaming Media A technique for transferring data such that it can be processed as a steady and continuous stream. Streaming technologies are becoming increasingly important with the growth of the Internet because most users do not have fast enough access to download large multimedia files quickly. With streaming, the client browser or plug-in can start displaying the data before the entire file has been transmitted. 
For streaming to work, the client side receiving the data must be able to collect the data and send it as a steady stream to the application that is processing the data and converting it to sound or pictures. This means that if the streaming client receives the data more quickly than required, it needs to save the excess data in a buffer. If the data doesn't come quickly enough, however, the presentation of the data will not be smooth. 

Streaming Media techniques are the major reason the Internet is used to distribute music and multimedia content. It makes on-line music accessible to users without high speed Internet connections.
There are a number of competing streaming technologies emerging. For audio data on the Internet, the de facto standard is Progressive Network's RealAudio.
Digital Sound Recording Technology Digital Sound Recording Technology
MP3 Compression Technology allows a user to download near-CD quality digitized sound recordings quickly and to store them using minimal disk space. 

Digital light Processing Digital Light Processing, a new technology developed by Texas Instruments used for projecting images from a monitor onto a large screen for presentations. Prior to the development of DLP, most computer projection systems were based on LCD technology, which tends to produce faded and blurry images. DLP uses tiny mirrors housed on a special kind of microchip called a Digital Micro-mirror Device (DMD). The result is sharp images that can be clearly seen even in a normally lit room
Voice Creation New Music Technology Enables Digital Voice Creation new technology developed by Pompeu Fabra University in Spain and financed by Yamaha Corporation will enable users to recreate voices as they would any other synthesized instrument. Currently, synthesizer technology allows users to recreate perfect notes from any instrument: violin, oboe, piano, harpsichord, etc. 
The Vocaloid solution would take the next step into human singing. Reports the New York Times: "A convincing human voice, spoken or sung, with all its complex, flowing articulations and quivering uncertainties has been unattainable. Yamaha has not yet made Vocaloid available for scrutiny, but judging by some early samples and demonstrations, the company seem to have made that quantum leap." The technology is due to be released January 2004. 

Microsoft Windows CE and Digital Music Microsoft Windows CE and Digital Music
Windows CE offers many of the necessary services to build a Virtual Jukebox. At the most basic level, Windows CE already provides a graphical user interface, a multithreaded kernel, audio APIs, and a development kit. Upcoming releases will add support for DirectShow and compatible audio codecs
Digital Content Management Digital Content Management
The next major release of Windows will contain a new technology called Digital Content Management (DCM). Its charter is to integrate the vast assortment of audio, video, pictures and other data into a single catalog. 
For music, DCM will automatically track the importation of songs from all available sources, including Internet downloading, CD, and file transfers across a network. Additionally, the system will be able to reference catalog entries even for files that are stored on removable media. This will provide the conceptual integration that the current generation of sound, video, and picture applications desperately need.








The Definition of Digital Processing

In order to define digital communications in music education, we must first define digital. More people use their computers to communicate. Calling volumes have increased. Digital signals are faster, have more capacity, and contain fewer errors than analog waves. High-speed telecommunications signal sent within computers, via fiber optic lines and between most telephone company offices, are digital. Instead of waves, digital signals are transmitted in the form of binary bits. 
The term binary means there are two values for transmitted bits: on and off. For data transmitted on copper cabling, on bits are represented by positive voltage and off bits by the absence of voltage. In fiber optic cabling, on bits are represented by light pulses and off bits, by the absence of light pulses. On bits are depicted as ones and off bits as zeroes in programming and binary notations.
Digital technology was first implemented in the public network in 1962. Digital service is faster and has higher capacity that analog service was implemented as a way to save money on laying cabling. Fewer copper or coaxial lines were needed to carry equal volumes of digital rather than analog traffic. Fiber cabling was not introduced until 1977.



Advantages of Using Digital Communication Technology


It is faster to re-create binary ones or zeros than more complex waves. Whereas the highest speed projected for analog modems is 56,000 bits per second when receiving data and 33, 600 bits per second when sending data, new routers, which are digital, now run at terabit-per-second speeds. A terabit is equal to a thousand gigabits. Digital signals can be re-created more reliably. Both analog and digital signals are subject to impairments: They decrease in volume over distance, fade and are susceptible to interference, such as noise. However, digital signals can be “repaired” better than analog signals. Digital service is more reliable than analog. Less equipment is required to boost the signal. High reliability results in high quality sound. Digital Multiplexing schemes enable multiple channels of voice and data to share one path. Digital multiplexing schemes operate at higher speeds and carry more traffic than analog multiplexing. 




The Importance of Digital Communications in General Education

In a study released today by ZDTV, an affiliate of Ziff-Davis (NYSE: ZD) and Cable in the Classroom, Parents and teachers recognize the importance of computers and the Internet in education. Of the parents surveyed, 78% believed that "school-based PC use is extremely important” Eighty-eight percent agreed that it was important for children to be taught how to use computers and the Internet. Ninety-eight percent of teachers use a PC to prepare materials for the classroom for education-related tasks; while 65% of teachers use a PC to deliver classroom instruction Eighty-seven percent of teachers use the Internet to find content and resources for teaching. 
Parents and teachers recognize the usefulness of cable in the classroom programs. PCs and the Internet have significant household penetration. Of the parents surveyed, 56% live in households with a PC, while 36% have Internet access at home. Children are growing up with PCs. Of the children in the surveyed households, 93% use a PC, and 86% of them have PC access at school. 57% of the children access the Internet at home, school, or elsewhere
During this decade of multimedia and networking in education, a community (educational) of users moved from skeptical scrutiny of technology claims, to acceptance, to enthusiastic embrace, to prescribed use directive: the mandate to become connected, to become digital.
The rationale for using multiple media is to enhance learning by providing multiple ways to learn, using text and images, and increasingly, audio and video (among other means). Images, audio, and text provide interest, realism and mutual reinforcement of the learning process. In many kinds of learning, such as procedural skills, it is essential to exploit multiple media, in particular imagery, animation, and even video in order to demonstrate how to carry out some task or procedure. 
Eventually all books will become animated, vocal, and interactive. Imagine learning orbital mechanics like a video game where you may choose burn rate and burn time, then have the book show you what happens to the rocket. Imagine a chemistry book that lets you bring together different molecules and watch what the forces do to them, following through until the molecules reach a stable state. Imagine a biology book that takes you inside a working cell; the book lets you see cell parts in operation and shows what any part does either normally or under disease. 
Imagine a statistics book that dispenses with artificial measures like averages and standard deviations and gives the full data visually. Imagine a mathematics book that lets you to choose your own parameters for functions and visually shows you what happens to their derivatives, or lets you dispense with simplistic models entirely and directly work with simulations. IBM and the U.S. National Science F




Foundations are funding work by the Mathematical Association of America to build interactive mathematics texts over the next 2 years {MAA}. 
Imagine an atlas that opens with a rotating globe. (Or an atlas that begins with a rotating human, library, computer, solar system, house, car, scanning tunneling microscope, or nuclear power plant.) You learn about different parts of the globe by touching it. You can then find out about the geography, history, geology, climatology, politics, culture, demographics, or economics of each area. Touching economics might bring up overlays showing trading partners, trade routes, and goods. Touching any trade goods, from tractors to camcorders, leads to overlays giving the source of all the raw materials used to make the good. 

Touching a portion of the display gives the history of the region, its geological background, its demographics, its transportation system, its climatology, its political allies, its nearness to major fault lines, its chloro-fluorocarbon emission rate, its projected development over the next 5 years, its skin cancer rate over the past 10 years and projections for the next 10 assuming various levels of ozone depletion. 
Touching another portion lets you extrapolate land use and deforestation over time to examine the effect of tariffs, or the effect of waste heat from cities on fish populations, or the effect of power lines on bird migratory paths, or the effect of global warming on coastlines and industries. Touching yet another portion gives pictures of the region's Nobel Prize winners, with their accomplishments and acceptance speeches. Or pictures of the region's politicians. Or a breakdown of the region's gross national product decomposed into budgetary expenditures. Or the effect of solar wind on the region's satellite reconnaissance. Or the region's offshore natural gas deposits. Or the epidemiology of retroviral disease. Movie snippets, stills, and music could accompany all portions of the display. 
Global networks of multimedia computers, on-line libraries, student-centered "learning-ware," and enhanced digital communications in general will improve access to high-quality education.














Summary: The Significance of Digital Communication Technology in Music Education



There has been a technological explosion of the past decade. There has been a great deal of focus on "hardware," "software," and "information." Computers are more capable now. Most PC’s come with speakers, a sub-woofer and CDRW, and software. 
A world of virtual reality and ease of access to information is changing everything we do in terms of its promise for education, for music, the learning of music, and the making of music. The Web offers a content rich environment for use in, and out of the music classroom.
1. Technological developments in computing, sound recording, and synthesis have changed the face of musical composition, performance, and listening.
2. Sight has become as important as sound in music making, particularly in such genres as film, video, and rock music. 
3. The keyboard and computer provide important means of synthesizing sound, composing music, and preparing scores. 
4. Technological advances have permitted diverse live and recorded music listening experiences ranging from the solitary listener to mass audiences of thousands or even millions of people.

Today's digital music world is far more developed than the world of telegraphs, phonographs, and cassette players of the past. We can now manipulate music from CDs and MP3 files; we are listening to streams of music, watching videos from the web, and downloading both free and fee-based music files from various sites. Instead of racks of CD’s or even records, we are organizing all that music on the hard disk in a way that you can find it again and listen to it, and creating play-lists.