The History of Karaoke

The History of Karaoke

What is Karaoke

Translated into ‘empty orchestra,’ karaoke is known around the world as the form of entertainment where you are the singer. With pre-recorded music, all you have to do is grab the mic and let your inner Whitney Houston come alive. Grabbing a mic and singing in front of others might be daunting at first, but the whole point of karaoke revolves around the joy and erratic laughter that ensues when you are yodelling to your friends. Also makes for a great party for graduation, a birthday or other event!

Where did Karaoke Originate

Invented in 1971, by the Japanese musician Daisuke Inoue in Kobe, Japan, the first karaoke machine was a new way for friends, family and peers to come together over popular music. However, Inoue did not generate the name “karaoke”. Instead, it was derived from a Japanese entertaining group. At the time, an orchestra went on strike. To make up for this loss of music, a machine was used instead. Thus, the name “empty orchestra” was born.

It is Japanese tradition to provide musical entertainment during dinners, parties and outings of the like. Those who were fond of Inoue’s music would ask him for recordings of his music to sing along to. Following this, the president of a small company contacted Inoue to record pieces of his keyboard music. With these pre-recorded pieces, Inoue would have the opportunity to sing alongside his music for his clients. Attempting this new way of performing, Inoue found success and elation in the experience. Taking on an entrepreneurial spirit, Inoue saw that there was no product in the market enabling people to connect with popular music. As such, he created the Juke 8, a tape-recorder machine that played songs following the insertion of money.

With this new idea, people were not very respondent at first. However, once the public began understanding the specific use of these machines, the demand for them spiked rapidly as they became a trend in the entertainment industry. Two club owners in particular loved this idea. By installing these machines in their clubs in Osaka, the karaoke trend skyrocketed. Whether it be dining with your family or arriving at the club with your friends, going out had more opportunities now than ever before. Singing along to your favorite song just isn’t the same as jamming out in a room with the music and your voice blasting. The energy and memories that surrounded karaoke was something everyone wanted to experience.

As technology advanced, so did karaoke. Soundproof karaoke boxes were made and constructed in empty areas throughout Japan so that people could participate in this activity without the sound disturbing residencies. Now, there are more than 100,000 karaoke boxes in Japan.

Why it is Unnecessary to be Scared of your Singing Voice

The Japanese carry a well-known reputation for a love to sing. We can’t all be born with a voice like Beyoncé. Because of this passion to sing and bop to some groovy tunes, the Japanese share a welcome, opening and non-judgemental view towards listening to others sing. Because of this shared perspective on respecting the voices of others, the success of karaoke in Japan was never hindered. In fact, it only inspired countries, such as Canada, the U.S., Europe and Korea, to include karaoke within their pop culture.

If you are a karaoke first-timer, it is quite understandable that you would be nervous to get on that funky stage and perform. Karaoke is a lot like going to your yearly flu shot. If you have a fear of needles, it’s quite common that before you’ve even reached the doctor’s office, your arm is already piecing thinking about what you’ll have to undergo. For someone new to karaoke, they envision their experience a lot like the flu shot situation – you have already gone through the experience in your mind before you’ve actually faced the act. But, you’ll be out your doctor’s office within a few minutes. Driving back home, you’ll realize that you fretted about that needle for no reason. With karaoke, you will also have your “that was it?” moment, and be off giving Justin Bieber a run for his money faster than you can sing “Baby.”

OMO & Karaoke

OMO Teppan & Kitchen is one of few restaurants in Calgary with a Karaoke room. Entertainment is an important aspect of the service of OMO. Whether it be a birthday party, celebration or dinner, OMO believes that combining Japanese cuisine with integral parts of our history provides the ultimate experience. Ever thought you could party at a restaurant? You can now with OMO’s karaoke room. We’re known for throwing a great birthday party. Life is already stressful enough. Singing karaoke relieves stress, boosts confidence and builds strong social connections. Although we may not be competing in the Karaoke World Championships, we all deserve the laughs and liveliness that karaoke provides.