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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!

Karaoke Lingo:

What's a new craze without it's own specialized vocabulary to go with it? 레깅스룸 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.

Kamikaze Karaoke - In Kamikaze Karaoke, the KJ will choose a pitch number for you, and you have to try to sing the song in that pitch.

Hitokara - means you must sing the song alone.

Karamovie - movie video clips where they leave out the voices

Health Benefits of Karaoke:

And here is great news - karaoke singing releases endorphins! Those are the "happy hormones" that make us feel good!

In addition, karaoke singing releases stress and tension, and helps exercise the lungs. So the next time you want to head off to your local karaoke bar, you can feel good about it!

Newest Types of Karaoke Player:

Now you can get Karaoke Ipods, Karaoke Cell Phones, and DVD Player/Karaoke System combos. China has a Karaoke car. Japan, and now spreading to other countries, has Karaoke Boxes - karaoke system/sound-insulated rooms.

Latest Karaoke News:

Jackie Chan will sing the opening song for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics - KARAOKE STYLE!

Go figure. Maybe there's something to this karaoke after all. You should try it!

Karaoke is a popular form of entertainment often used at parties, restaurants and bars where someone will sing along to recorded music using a microphone and public address system. The singer can choose from a number of well-known pop and rock songs available on the machine and then sing while the machine plays the song, minus the lead vocals. A video screen displays the lyrics of the song and guides the singer, usually by changing the color of the words or using a moving symbol so they sing on cue. Songs can be performed by an individual or a whole group at a time and the result can be very entertaining.

The word "karaoke" originates from two Japanese words - "kara" which means empty, and "okesutora" which means orchestra. There are disputes as to where karaoke actually was invented but it is believed that it was first developed in Japan in the 1970's before spreading into other parts of Asia in the 1980's and then on into the rest of the world. Karaoke developed out of the Japanese practice of providing 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 provide a recording of his music so that they could sing along on vacation. This sparked an idea in Daisuke and he made a machine that would play a song for a 100 yen coin, 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 there has been some dispute over who did invent karaoke. 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.

Following this, the 1990s saw the popularity of karaoke spread to the United States, Canada, Australia and other western countries. It became a popular form of nightclub entertainment with some places setting up with high-end sound equipment, lighting shows and dance floors. It also became popular to rent a karaoke machine with a jockey to come and provide the entertainment at private parties. While this seemed to be a passing fad of the 90's, it has continued to develop into a different format with karaoke now being available as video games, on cell phones, on computers and even in automobiles. People now have a number of different outlets for their amateur singing practice and entertainment.

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