- John Lomax publishes "Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads"
- Aleksander Skryabin composes "Prometheus" featuring an instrument projecting light instead of playing sound
- Sergei Diaghilev produces in Paris the ballet "Scheherazade", the most successful of the "Ballets Russes"
- The American Photoplayer Company introduces the "Fotoplayer Style", an instrument that can play orchestral music as well as sound effects
- 350,000 pianos are manufactured in the USA
- William Spiller's band, the Musical Spillers, export ragtime to Britain
- The incidental music to Richard Walton Tully's play Bird of Paradise popularizes the ukulele and the steel guitar
- The first blues is published, Hart Wand's Dallas Blues
- Henry Cowell introduces "tone clusters" in The Tides of Manaunaun (1912) by striking the keys with forearm and fist
- Italian "futurist" Luigi Russolo publishes "L'Arte dei Rumori", in which he proclaims noise to be the sound of the 20th century, and especially noise produced by machines, such as his own "Intonarumori"
- Jerome Kern invents the "musical" by integrating music, drama and ballet and setting it into the present
- The American Society for Composers (ASCAP) is founded to protect songwriters
- Tristan Tzara founds the Dada movement in Zurich
- Henry Cowell composes quartets using combinations of rhythms and overtones that are impossible to play by humans
- The first record to be advertised as "samba" is Ernesto Joaquim Maria dos Santos, better known as "Donga", Pelo Telefone
- Alexander Scriabin's "Prometheus" features a light show
- Piano makers Brunswick start a record label
- Cecil Sharp publishes a collection of folk music from the Appalachian mountains
- Julian Carrillo writes "The Thirteenth Sound Theory" which heralds music for microtones
- The first jazz record is cut in New York
- James Europe's Hellfighters export jazz to France
- General Electric absorbs the American branch of Marconi Wireless Telegraph and renames it Radio Corporation of America (RCA)
- Will Marion Cook's syncopated orchestra plays jazz for King George V in Britain