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Rise of the Sound Engineer

Bing Crosby

For decades after the invention of the phonograph, fidelity was the central goal of audio recording. Edison had sung “Mary had a little lamb,” and listen! You could hear him doing so!
The general attitude was that the more faithful the sound you heard was to the sound he had originally made, the more successful the recording. That was the point … right?

But beginning at the time of the Second World War, and with increasing technical sophistication in the 1950s … Continue Reading

Romanticism and Beethoven: Part Two

Emperor Napoleon

Napoleon made himself “Emperor” in 1804, losing the admiration of a generation of Europe’s intellectuals and artists.

In the last entry, I discussed romanticism from a bird’s-eye view, using some sweeping definitions. But I did my best at the same time to suggest the nature of the achievement of the early years of a flesh-and-blood composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, in the late eighteenth century and at the very beginning of the nineteenth.

Heroism and Its Disappointments

In this entry, I will … Continue Reading