The Art of Phonography: Sound, Technology and Music

Authored by: Peter Wicke

The Ashgate Research Companion to Popular Musicology

Print publication date:  December  2009
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754664765
eBook ISBN: 9781315613451
Adobe ISBN: 9781317041986


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More than any other form of musical practice, popular music is shaped in its development by sound recording (with its enormous possibilities for dissemination) and therefore by audio technology. For a good half-century, the involvement of this technology has meant that everything classified as ‘popular music’ has, for the most part, been produced music, not performed music and consequently music whose ultimate sonic form is achieved with the aid of technical equipment in a step-by-step studio process. Live music, then, imitates the sound produced previously in the studio by means of equipment-intensive reconstruction on stage. This state of affairs is something that tends to be considered only from the perspective of musical performance. The recording studio is normally understood as simply a new kind of place for music-making, a place where music-making has been extended by new possibilities, but has also been drawn into formerly unknown financial and technological dependencies. 2

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