Music and Technology in the Twentieth Century
Technology has always been inseparable from the development of music. But in the twentieth century a rapid acceleration took place: a new "machine music" came into existence, electronic musical instruments appeared, and composers sometimes seemed more like sound technicians than musicians. In this book Hans-Joachim Braun and his co-authors offer a wide-ranging and fascinating look at the relationship of technology and modern music. Topics range from the role of Yamaha in Japan's musical development to the social construction of the synthesizer; from the player piano as precursor of computer music to the musical role of airplanes and locomotives; from the growth of one independent recording studio (from "Polka to Punk") to the origins of the 45–RPM record. Other chapters consider violin vibrato and the phonograph, Jimi Hendrix, and the aesthetic challenge of soundsampling. The book concludes with a look at the current situation, and perspectives for its future in electronic music.
Contributors: Barbara Barthelmes, Karin Bijsterveld, Hans-Joachim Braun, Martha Brech, Hugh Davies, Bernd Enders, Geoffrey Hindley, Jüergen Hocker, Mark Katz, Tatsuya Kobayashi, James P. Kraft, Alexander B. Magoun, Rebecca McSwain, Andre Millard, Helga de la Motte-Haber, Trevor Pinch, Susan Schmidt-Horning, and Frank Trocco.
About the Author
Hans-Joachim Braun is a professor of modern social, economic, and technological history at the Universität der Bundeswehr in Hamburg, Germany.
"A surprisingly good read, with a depth and coherence... Pays attention to both sound production and sound recording, as well as economic and social factors that have shaped the 20th century music industry... This is a very strong collection written by leading researchers in the field."
"An eclectic exploration of the relationship between electronics and music... The book covers fascinating and unusual ground, invoking artists as diverse as Orpheus and Guitar Slim to Fritz Kreisler, Conlon Nancarrow, and Karlheinz Stockhausen."
"This much-needed collection of critical essays addresses sound art from many new and interesting perspectives... Braun did a nice job of bringing together these 17 very strong and personal voices, which in the end make for good, thought-provoking reading."
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