1854, "put up in a can," past-participle adjective from can (v.2). In reference to music, "pre-recorded," from 1903 (with an isolated, hypothetical use from 1894).
John Phillip Sousa, the celebrated bandmaster, strongly condemns "canned music," by which he means automatic musical instruments, such as pianos, organs, graphophones, etc. The professor foresees in the distant future none but mechanical singers, mechanical piano-players, mechanical orchestras, etc., factories running night and day turning out automatic music; bandmasters, choir leaders, organists, etc., being compelled to labor otherwise for their living. [The Cambrian, September 1906]
updated on August 19, 2020