The Sound of Song: The Recording Revolution

recording sessionA fascinating new series on BBC4 which tells the story of popular music starting with Irving Berlin. There’s a strong emphasis on recording technology and how this, in turn, influences music and performance. The first programme included Edison’s first phonographs, and we saw a modern recreation of a wax cylinder recording session, with an actual cylinder being recorded – those shavings get everywhere. Then it was the turn of 78s, radio, talking pictures and the advent of electrical recording and how the new microphones allowed singers to rival the volume of the band and to ‘croon’.

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