All About Karaoke

SECTION 1: A Short History of Karaoke.
Do you love singing in the shower? Do you totally rock out along with the car radio? Do you use a hairbrush for a mic while standing in front of the mirror practicing for American Idol? If so, you might just love karaoke. Karaoke comes from the Japanese kara, meaning “void” and ōkesutora, meaning “orchestra.” To sing karaoke is to sing live, accompanied by the actual backup-music from your favorite songs. No more having to sing loud enough to drown out Madonna. With karaoke, your voice is the star! The effect is exhilarating, and amateur singers across the globe are lining up at special karaoke clubs to perform their favorite tunes as if they were real pop singers
SECTION 2: Where and When Did Karaoke Begin?History traces karaoke to Japanese musician Daisuke Inoue in Kobe, Japan in the early 1970s. Inoue had fans asking him to provide a recording of his music so they could sing along to it while on vacation. Inoue saw a real market potential and began leasing out special tape recorders that played his music for 100 yen a song. The first karaoke machine was a new kind of jukebox that played only the back-up music, while amateur singers provided their own vocals. The concept took off. Unfortunately for Inoue, he failed to patent his idea. A Filipino inventor currently holds the patent for the device now known as a karaoke machine. Modern karaoke machines can range from huge computers with TV screens and lighting devices to simple microphone/mp3 players you plug directly into your TV.
SECTION 3: Karaoke Fever!Karaoke fever is just getting hotter and hotter. Technological advances have made the karaoke experience even more authentic, allowing singers to truly feel like they are on MTV. In addition to help from lights, smoke machines, and voice-enhancing microphones, performers are giving it their all, even adding complicated choreography to their performances. Plus, the music selection has exploded from the original Daisuke Inoue music catalog to include pop, country, show tunes, and rock, making the appeal almost universal and virtually ageless. These days, you no longer have to have the lyrics 100% memorized, nor do you have to squint at the lyrics printed on a sheet of paper. Modern karaoke equipment includes TV screens (also known in karaoke terms as KTV) that display the lyrics in time with the music. Karaoke clubs provide multiple screens so all the patrons can sing along. At home, fans can play karaoke video games that score singers based on their pitch, timing, and rhythm.
SECTION 4: Competitive Karaoke?!A new trend in parts of the US and Canada is called “Kamikaze Karaoke” or “Karaoke Roulette”, in which players don’t choose the song that plays, and are forced to improvise as best they can. This trend has become so popular that it spawned not one but two national TV shows in the US: “The Singing Bee” and “Don’t Forget the Lyrics!” After almost 40 years, karaoke is hotter than ever and its popularity shows no signs of waning. So drop the hairbrush, lose the stage fright, and grab that karaoke microphone! Thanks to karaoke, anyone can be a singing superstar.