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Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music

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There is more to sound recording than just recording sound. Far from being simply a tool for the preservation of music, the technology is a catalyst. This is the clear message of Capturing Sound, a wide-ranging, deeply informative, consistently entertaining history of recording's profound impact on the musical life of the past century, from Edison to the Internet. In a seri There is more to sound recording than just recording sound. Far from being simply a tool for the preservation of music, the technology is a catalyst. This is the clear message of Capturing Sound, a wide-ranging, deeply informative, consistently entertaining history of recording's profound impact on the musical life of the past century, from Edison to the Internet. In a series of case studies, Mark Katz explores how recording technology has encouraged new ways of listening to music, led performers to change their practices, and allowed entirely new musical genres to come into existence. An accompanying CD, featuring thirteen tracks from Chopin to Public Enemy, allows readers to hear what Katz means when he discusses music as varied as King Oliver's "Dippermouth Blues," a Jascha Heifetz recording of a Brahms Hungarian Dance, and Fatboy Slim's "Praise You."


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There is more to sound recording than just recording sound. Far from being simply a tool for the preservation of music, the technology is a catalyst. This is the clear message of Capturing Sound, a wide-ranging, deeply informative, consistently entertaining history of recording's profound impact on the musical life of the past century, from Edison to the Internet. In a seri There is more to sound recording than just recording sound. Far from being simply a tool for the preservation of music, the technology is a catalyst. This is the clear message of Capturing Sound, a wide-ranging, deeply informative, consistently entertaining history of recording's profound impact on the musical life of the past century, from Edison to the Internet. In a series of case studies, Mark Katz explores how recording technology has encouraged new ways of listening to music, led performers to change their practices, and allowed entirely new musical genres to come into existence. An accompanying CD, featuring thirteen tracks from Chopin to Public Enemy, allows readers to hear what Katz means when he discusses music as varied as King Oliver's "Dippermouth Blues," a Jascha Heifetz recording of a Brahms Hungarian Dance, and Fatboy Slim's "Praise You."

30 review for Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Good survey of the impact of recording technology on music and society over the last 130 years. An excellent bibliography with a wide range of intriguing sources, and an interesting series of vignettes from the front lines of the collision of recorded music with Western (mostly American) society. Well-written and enjoyable to read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Dalla Riva

    This is a fantastic book about the intersection between technology and music and have both the former and the latter affect one another. The only chapter that wasn’t a page turner was chapter 4 about violin vibrato. It’s worth noting that the tone of the book is more academic than most other books about popular music.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jürgen De blonde

    Insightful book. Covers a broad scope of musical styles and genres that have been shaped, influenced or simple come into existence because of recording technology. Very intriguing to read about 'gramophonmusik' and how the phonograph and phonautograph affected social and musical life in the early days. I was also quite fond of the author's stance towards copyright and his open-minded discussion of that particular subject. That soundfiles that can be consulted via the publisher's website are a ni Insightful book. Covers a broad scope of musical styles and genres that have been shaped, influenced or simple come into existence because of recording technology. Very intriguing to read about 'gramophonmusik' and how the phonograph and phonautograph affected social and musical life in the early days. I was also quite fond of the author's stance towards copyright and his open-minded discussion of that particular subject. That soundfiles that can be consulted via the publisher's website are a nice addition, enriching and illustrating the many anecdotes and reviews in the book. It is clearly a book written from an American perspective, and it would be interesting to read a similar book from a different angle. All in all, this book is very much recommended if you want to contemplate the huge impact recording technology has had, and still has, on how we consume sound and music nowadays. The impact goes a lot deeper than one might expect, shaping the sound and structure of jazz, for example, or stimulating the use of vibrato in classical music. Thumbs up!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeroen

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie Lubkowski

    good basic overview of topics explored in sound studies in very accessible prose.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paige Hamilton

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ola

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stuart McNeil

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  12. 5 out of 5

    Vel

  13. 5 out of 5

    David Siebold

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hassan Asif

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jan Van

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Bolofspaghetti

  17. 4 out of 5

    D.A.Calf

  18. 4 out of 5

    Saurabh

  19. 5 out of 5

    Zachary Walters

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tkutz

  21. 4 out of 5

    John Konrad

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karen Cook

  24. 5 out of 5

    Can

  25. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth Bernoska

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lilita Dunska

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Vercruysse

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ed McElvain

  30. 5 out of 5

    Peter Law

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