Karaoke's popularity quickly spread to other countries including the United States, where we have taken the art of karaoke singing to another level. Of course cassettes have been long replaced with CDs and DVDs. Technological advances have provided better equipment used for karaoke and the spread of venues such as bars and clubs have also increased its popularity.
Karaoke is now moving in a whole new direction. We are all aware of American Idol, which has been many times called a "glorified karaoke competition," but there are other venues for those looking to succeed in their karaoke endeavors. With growing interest, the Karaoke World Championships has been in existence since 2003 with 29 countries in participation.
Super CDGs are starting to replace the old versions. With these, manufacturers are able to place hundreds or thousands of songs on one disc. However, you will need a special player. Hopefully, they may start to come personalized with the songs you want. Even better are the MP3+Gs that allow karaoke fun with no discs, and no hassle.
Karaoke started in a snack bar in Kobe City, Japan more than two decades ago. Legend has it that when a guitar player became ill and couldn't perform one night, the proprietor of the bar made tapes of backup recordings, and customers enjoyed singing along with the tapes. Although it is merely legend, this could have been the start of karaoke as we know it today. In many parts of the world, it is used only for entertainment. But in Japan it is a form of therapy too.
The term "karaoke," comes from the Japanese "kara" which mean empty, and "oke" which means orchestra. Simply put, to make a karaoke song the lyrics are stripped out of the soundtrack, leaving only the instrumentation. The lyrics are displayed on a monitor or television screen to assist the user.
The music and lyrics are stored on a type of compact disc called CD+G and a lot of them include various graphics in addition to the words. Karaoke had gotten very popular in bars all over Japan and many started advertising themselves as "karaoke bars". The Japanese consider karaoke one of the few ways that a person can publicly express themselves without being considered to be unrefined or self-important. That is why karaoke was good therapy for the Japanese people who felt repressed by their culture.
It wasn't long before karaoke became popular all over Asia and then to the U.S. and Canada in the nineties, and many click here other countries around the world as well. As the accessible choices of music has expanded for karaoke machines, those within the industry determined that karaoke could be an extremely profitable type of lounge and nightspot entertainment. It's not unusual for some bars to feature karaoke every night, usually with a good deal more advanced sound equipment than those typically purchased for home use. People love to dance at karaoke bars too and enhancements like special lighting and TV monitors around the dance floor displaying the lyrics are common also.
When some people discover karaoke they suddenly gain a lot of self confidence. Those who typically lack the confidence to stand up and sing before a crowd of people might find it much more comfortable if other people are going to do it too. So, if you're not already doing karaoke consider giving it a try. You'll be amazed how much fun it is and you might even find it therapeutic too.