The Halacha is ( אורח חיים הלכות תשעה באב סימן תק''ס סעיף ג) That since the Destruction of the Temple we may not listen to any Music. How is it that most people do listen to recordings?
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The SHU"T MAHARSHAG(חלק ב' סימן קכ''ה) answers since people use it to rid themselves of depression it is allowed.
Reb W(V)osner the Shevet Halevi(חלק ח' סימן קכ''ז) says that a tape in his opinion is like a regular musical instrument and therefore would seem to be assur the whole year,and he says this includes Accapella as the tape itself turns into an instrument. He ends off he doesn't know why but people are not careful with it and he quotes the reasoning of the Maharshag.
The Chelkas Yackov (אורח חיים סימן ס''ד) says we are relying on the opinion of Rashi and Tosfos (גיטין ז' א' ד"ה זמרא) that this Issur applies only in a Beis Hamishteh with wine. Per the language of the Ramah, people who are used to going to sleep with music and waking up to music is also problematic.
The Sefer Birurei Halacha (סימן ס) says he heard from the Divrei Yatziv another defense of the current laxity: he says since in the time of the original Halacha this technology did not exist you can not apply the Issur to it. Even if you say it is similar to the electric guitar which also did not exist this is different as it is not even similar in form, meaning there is no musician and you don't see the physical band. A second defense or an extension is that tapes can be used for Shiurim hence it can not be a musical instrument, but he ends off he knows theses are weak answers and there are many ways to disprove them.
According to Rabbi Yitshak Yosef in Yalkut Yosef recorded music that brings the heart closer to God has al mi lismoch. Many Ashkenaz posekim bring other Heterim.
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