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Sounds perfect: the evolution of recording technology and music's social future

Sounds perfect: the evolution of recording technology and music's social future
Sounds perfect: the evolution of recording technology and music's social future
The effect of technology on music has been indisputably profound. As a cultural descendant of the traditions first established by notation and printing, recorded music technology has transformed our understanding and use of music in all sorts of ways. Whether or not different technologies have had a positive or negative effect, however, is a subject of much debate.

Traditional histories of recorded music technology demonstrate a tendency either to treat each new platform as truly revolutionary, or to elide the differences between them to such an extent that significant socio-­cultural and socio-­economic transformations become occluded. Revisiting this history with an open mind—and a degree of cultural and temporal distance—permits a perspective of progression, from which the ramifications of recorded music technologies become more accurately discernible. This thesis highlights six characteristics of recorded music, all of which have been affected at various times and in various ways by the evolution of recording technology. Without exception, every new platform for recorded music has improved upon at least one of these six characteristics, although not necessarily without detriment to one of the others.

It is in the scope of these improvements that digital music files, as a platform, are fundamentally different to any of their predecessors. Far from simply continuing or exaggerating the trend that forms the customary narrative of the traditional histories of recorded music, digital music files have completely reengineered our relationship with and understanding of the production, distribution, and consumption of music in a very profound way. The thesis explores these changes, and offers some frank yet ultimately encouraging insights as to what the social future of music may hold.
Lingard, William
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Lingard, William
5ee5d2f5-d03d-405c-abf8-7b22624d0787
Pinnock, Andrew
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Lingard, William (2013) Sounds perfect: the evolution of recording technology and music's social future. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 374pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

The effect of technology on music has been indisputably profound. As a cultural descendant of the traditions first established by notation and printing, recorded music technology has transformed our understanding and use of music in all sorts of ways. Whether or not different technologies have had a positive or negative effect, however, is a subject of much debate.

Traditional histories of recorded music technology demonstrate a tendency either to treat each new platform as truly revolutionary, or to elide the differences between them to such an extent that significant socio-­cultural and socio-­economic transformations become occluded. Revisiting this history with an open mind—and a degree of cultural and temporal distance—permits a perspective of progression, from which the ramifications of recorded music technologies become more accurately discernible. This thesis highlights six characteristics of recorded music, all of which have been affected at various times and in various ways by the evolution of recording technology. Without exception, every new platform for recorded music has improved upon at least one of these six characteristics, although not necessarily without detriment to one of the others.

It is in the scope of these improvements that digital music files, as a platform, are fundamentally different to any of their predecessors. Far from simply continuing or exaggerating the trend that forms the customary narrative of the traditional histories of recorded music, digital music files have completely reengineered our relationship with and understanding of the production, distribution, and consumption of music in a very profound way. The thesis explores these changes, and offers some frank yet ultimately encouraging insights as to what the social future of music may hold.

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Published date: March 2013
Organisations: University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 367009
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/367009
PURE UUID: 46b11677-4f98-44db-9b89-c8a527771cb6

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Date deposited: 22 Oct 2014 11:29
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 02:05

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Contributors

Author: William Lingard
Thesis advisor: Andrew Pinnock

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