The Karaoke Machine

December 6, 2009

             You are at home trying to plan a party. You have a whole list of invitees written down on a paper, a cupboard full of chips and dips, and a cooler full of drinks. You go to your laptop and start putting together some CD’s of your favorite dance music. As you are making your play list, you notice yourself singing along, and your eyes widen, and you light up as an idea struck in your head.

“I should have a Karaoke party!”

            But did you know who invented the Karaoke machine? Well to start off, the word “Karaoke” derived from two Japanese words, “kara” which means empty, and “okesutora” which means orchestra. There are disputes as to who invented the karaoke machine, but it is presumed that it was first developed in Japan in the 1970’s before publicizing it to the rest of the world. Karaoke cultivated out of the practice of supplying some form of musical entertainment for guests at dinners or parties. A popular Japanese musician to perform at such events, Daisuke Inoue, was asked by some guests to accommodate a recording of his music so that they could sing along on vacation. This ignited an idea in Daisuke and he made a machine that would play a song for coins, leasing the machines to restaurants and hotels where it caught on as a popular form of entertainment. However Daisuke Inoue did not patent his new machine, which is why so many arguments arise about who actually invented the karaoke machine. A Filipino inventor called Roberto del Rosario developed a similar system called “Minus-One” in 1975, which he got a patent for in the 1980s. Roberto still holds the patent for what we call the karaoke machine.           

           So in essence, a Filipino invented the karaoke machine, but the Japanese bought the patent, marketed and mass-produced it till it became very popular. Roberto del Rosario never received any credit because Filipino inventors don’t acquire any assistance from our government. This also shows another example of how many Filipino people do not rise and fight for what is essentially theirs. It is just sad to know how many things are taken from the Philippines without an uproar.  

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