강남 룸싸롱 mania is sweeping the world! Have you taken your trip up to the stage yet to belt out your favorite song to those you know and love? If not, you might just find yourself on the singing end of your nearest karaoke system very soon! So what is this karaoke, anyway? What’s the buzz about the newest karaoke player? What do you need to know to be “in the know” about this latest craze? Here are some facts, figures, karaoke lingo, and trivia you may want to know.
Karaoke is a Japanese word, made up of abbreviations of two other Japanese words. “Kara” comes from the word “karappo”, meaning empty. “Oke” comes from the word “okesutura”, meaning orchestra. So “Karaoke” literally means empty orchestra. Karaoke players play the music of the songs, without the lead vocals. So empty orchestra means you get the music without the voices.
The first karaoke system was invented in the 1970’s in Kobe, Japan, by Daisuk Inoue, a musician. He leased his karaoke player for 100 yen, and Karaoke soon became the fun thing to do.
Unfortunately, he did not get a patent for his invention, and someone else went on to patent it under a different name, “Minus-One”. As you see, his Minus-One system didn’t catch on near as well as the catchy “Karaoke”, so Daisuk still got his claim to fame. Word of Daisuk’s new machine spread, and from Japan it has now become wildly popular all across Asia, Europe, and the USA.
Perhaps karaoke players are most popular of all in Finland. Finland holds several world Karaoke records. They have more karaoke bars per capita than any other place in the world. They hold the world record for the largest amount of people singing the same karaoke song at one time: 80,000 people! What song were they singing? Hard Rock Hallelujah! Finland also holds the world record for the longest round of non-stop Karaoke singing: 240 hours!
Imagine that! Now you can use your karaoke system to come up with new world records!
What’s a new craze without it’s own specialized vocabulary to go with it? Here are some karaoke words to know:
Karaoke Player – this is the karaoke machine itself. It plays karaoke songs, or music without the words. The lyrics are shown on a monitor so people can still sing the song even if they don’t know the words.
Spinning Karaoke – this is cycling on stationary bicycles while singing karaoke. What a workout!
KJ – this is the Karaoke DJ. He runs the karaoke system, and gets everyone involved. He adjusts the karaoke player to alter the key or the pitch to better match the voice range of the singer, and adds some echo, so that everyone sounds more professional.