Music recording, physical record of a musical performance that can then be played back, or reproduced.Because music evaporates as soon as it is produced, humans, seeking permanence in life’s ephemera, have long sought ways to record and reproduce it.Some composers, including Paul Hindemith, wrote music especially for the piano roll, using devices such as combinations of as many as 30 notes played simultaneously; while impossible for two hands, such chords could readily be played by the perforated paper.The second invention, which was to make obsolete all previous music-reproducing apparatuses (except in toys and cuckoo clocks), was the In 1967 a survey of hundreds of American composers indicated that they were almost unanimous in regarding the recordings of their works as being more important than either printed publication or live performances. I don’t think one can possibly exaggerate the extent to which the climate of music today is determined by the fact that the total Webern is available on records, that the total Schoenberg is becoming available.record as a medium had superficial beginnings as early as 1904 in Ruggero Leoncavallo’s song “Mattinata,” specifically writtenfor the record according to the label.Automatic carillons are known from the 1300s; automatic harpsichords and organs, from the 1500s.
The former—musical notation—matured earlier, and in one form or another it virtually monopolized the recording of music for centuries; the latter had to await the emergence of technology for its development.
Every six hours it played a tune on 16 chimes, followed by a two-trumpet tantara, then by an organ tune and performance by “a holly bushe full of birds and thrushes, which at the end of the musick did singe and shake theire winges.” In the 19th century Queen Victoria of Great Britain owned a bustle that would play “God Save the Queen” when she sat down.
Some of the most illustrious composers in the history of music wrote for mechanical devices.
The impact of recordings on the concert hall has also been enormous, both for classical and for popular performances.
Performers today can hardly hope to attract a concert audience if they have not produced distinguished recordings; usually, their audiences, both at home and abroad, consist of persons who know the performers’ work through recordings.
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Until the end of the 19th century, music was reproduced primarily by means of the mechanical method.