- Mamie Smith's Crazy Blues is the first blues by a black singer to become a nation-wide hit
- Eric Satie composes music not to be listened to ("musique d'ameublement", furniture music)
- Westinghouse Electric starts the first commercial radio station, "KDKA"
- 106 million records are sold in the USA, mostly published on "Tin Pan Alley", but control of the market is shifting to the record companies
- Okeh introduces a "Colored Catalog" targeting the black community, the first series of "race records"
- The Donaueschingen Festival of avantgarde music is founded
- Trixie Smith cuts My Man Rocks Me With One Steady Roll
- Texan fiddler Eck Robertson cuts the first record of "old-time music"
- Laszlo Moholy-Nagy advocates the use of phonograph records to produce music, not only to reproduce it
- James Sterling buys out the British division of Columbia
- Bessie Smith cuts her first blues record
- John Carson records two "hillbilly" songs and thus founds country music ⇐
- Arnold Schoenberg completes his 12-tone system of composition (the first form of "serialism")
- The Music Corporation of America (MCA) is founded in Chicago as a talent agency
- German record company Deutsche Grammophon (DG) founds the Polydor company to distribute records abroad
- Andre' Breton publishe the "Surrealist Manifesto" in Paris
- Riley Puckett introduces the "yodeling" style of singing into country music
- The Mills Brothers popularize the "barbershop harmonies"
- Carl Sprague is the first musician to record cowboy songs (the first "singing cowboy" of country music)
- The electrical recording process is commercially introduced, quickly replacing the mechanical one
- 78.26 RPM is chosen as a standard for phonographic records because phonographs at that speed could use a standard 3600-rpm motor and 46-tooth gear (78.26 = 3600/46).
- Nashville's first radio station is founded (WSM) and begins broadcasting a program that will change name to "Grand Ole Opry"
- Bing Crosby cuts his first record and invents the "crooning" style of singing thanks to a new kind of microphone
- Blind Lemon Jefferson is the first bluesman to enter e major recording studio
- Will Shade founds the first "jug band" in Memphis, inspired by Louisville's first jug bands
- The magazine "Phonograph Monthly Review" is founded
- Vitaphone introduces 16-inch acetate-coated shellac discs playing at 33 1/3 RPM (a size and speed calculated to be the equivalent of a reel of film)
- The British magazine "Melody Maker" is founded
- General Electric founds the "National Broadcasting Company" (NBC)
- Meade Lux Lewis cuts Honky Tonk Train, the most famous boogie woogie ⇐
- Russian composer Leon Termen performs the first concerto with the "theremin"
- Jimmie Rodgers, the first star of country music, adopts "yodeling" style of singing, the blues style of black music, and the Hawaian slide guitar
- Classical composer Kurt Weill begins a collaboration with playwright Bertold Brecht, incorportating jazz, folk and pop elements in his soundtracks
- Sales of "race records" reach $100 million
- The United Independent Broadcasters (later renamed Columbia Broadcasting System, or CBS) of 47 affiliate stations is founded
- Clarence "Pinetop" Smith cuts Pinetop's Boogie Woogie
- Maurice Martenot invents an electronic instrument, the Ondes-Martenot
- Decca is founded in Britain by Edward Lewis as a classical music company
- RCA buys Victor Talking Machines
- The "Great Depression" destroys the record industry
- Blind Lemon Jefferson dies