In order to sell your originally recorded tunes in the past you had to have a recording company to get the music on the radio for you.
You were tied to a contract, using their A&R people to select the material, and tied to a studio they approved with producers that they hired. Very little creative control stayed with the artist, until they reached the higher point in their career where their demands would be met by the label executives.
Today’s music world is totally different. Although home recording has been around since use of the wire recorder in the 1950′s (before tape recording) you could only make demo quality recordings, and had a hard time sharing the music with anyone. Even the best home recordings often got no exposure at all.
Now you can make a great sounding recording with all sorts of devices, from laptop computers running studio simulation software, to hand held digital recorders with multi-track functionality. You can mix the tracks down, master them and turn out a quality recording anywhere.
Then in the greatest change to the music industry, you can upload the songs to the web, have them available to download for free, or post them to sites that will sell them for you. You can then get your royalties paid to an account you set up at minimal cost.
The artist now has creative control, business control, and total involvement in the music from the start to the finished product. This is what music in the 21st century is all about.