A Century of Recorded Music: Listening to Musical History
A century of recording has fundamentally changed our experience of music--the way we listen to it and the way it is performed. This highly engaging book is the first thorough exploration of the impact of recording technology upon the art of music. Timothy Day chronicles the developments in recording technology since its inception and describes the powerful effects it has had on artistic performance, audience participation, and listening habits. He compares the characteristics of musical life one hundred years ago--before the phonograph--to those of today and offers a fascinating analysis of how performing practices, images of performers, the work of composers, and performance choices in concert halls and opera houses have changed. This book will inform and engage a wide range of readers, from those who love music and recordings to performers and scholars and all readers with an interest in the social and artistic history of the twentieth century.
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A century of recorded music: listening to musical historyUser Review - Book Verdict
Day, curator of Western art music at the Sound Archive of the British Library in London, is unquestionably an authority on recorded music, and he writes with an anecdotal ease that is engaging and unpretentious. The material is divided into four large chapters: "Making Recordings," "The Repertory Recorded," "Changes in Performing Styles Recorded," and "Listening to Recordings." Somewhat rambling and repetitious, the book nonetheless contains a wealth of information about the history of the recording industry and attitudes of performers and listeners about this very 20th-century phenomenon. Day peppers the text with dozens of illuminating and droll anecdotes, all meticulously footnoted. His philosophical ruminations on the place of recordings among the art forms are particularly insightful and refreshing. However, some readers may find Day's overreliance on lengthy lists to be tedious, and American readers in particular may be put off by the British slant. Though fairly up-to-date, the book makes little mention of the CD-vs.-LP debate and does not discuss current hot topics, such as audio streaming and other web-based technologies. Recommended, but for large collections only.--Larry Lipkis, Moravian Coll., Bethlehem, PA ...
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