|A trio of karaoke machines. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
-Robert Fulton Abernethy
Music has been part of the development of every culture in the world. People had few forms of entertainment and song and dance were the biggest among them.
Karaoke came into existence in Japan in early 1970?s when a group of businessmen asked popular nightclub performer Daisuke Inoue to make recordings of his songs for their entertainment. Since what they were really interested in was singing along, these businessmen also asked him to remove the singing from the songs and then display the lyrics. With some insight, Inoue realized that this could actually be a good business opportunity and he invented the first karaoke machine. This was actually a tape recorder that allowed people to play a song after accepting a hundred yen coin. Moreover, Inoue did not sell these tapes; instead, he rented them out. Although this amount was entirely too expensive for the Japanese, the trend caught on.
Karaoke started as supplementary entertainment, the kind placed as an alternative to drinking and eating. Machines were placed in hotels, parks, and restaurants for this very purpose. It took a few years for karaoke to come into its own, and when it did, it took an inescapable grip on the populace. The first sort of karaoke bars was a small booth with a karaoke machine and was referred to as a karaoke box. This could be rented on an hourly basis to small groups for private entertainment. These developments took place even before karaoke had become popular recreation in western nations and karaoke boxes continue to be popular places in Japan. The karaoke bar, in its modern form, came in to being when karaoke finally reached the west. The trend spread like wildfire. Soon, nightclubs, lounges, cafés, and restaurants in the US and Canada had shipped in karaoke machine for customer entertainment.
The latest karaoke machine uses all sorts of media formats to play karaoke music. There are VCD and DVD versions that have become popular for household entertainment as well. Daisuke Inoue won the IgNoble Award in the year 2004 for providing an entirely new way for people to learn to tolerate each other?.