The 'sound' of music: technological rationalization and the production of popular music

New Formations - ISSN 0950-2378
Volume 1989 Number 8

The 'sound' of music: technological rationalization and the production of popular music
Paul Theberge, pages -

Abstract

Theberge brings together Max Weber’s arguments about music and Jurgen Habermas’ ideas about interaction in a discussion of the role of studio mixing on popular music in the latter half of the twentieth century. While in earlier periods a recorded track was seen as an authentic record of a given performance, sophisticated technology subsequently made it possible to record different elements separately, and even at different times. The ‘sound’ of a track became more important, and the use of stereo techniques made the end result even more artificial, as, for example, the different elements of the drum kit appear to be spaced out around a virtual room. With Les Paul’s development of overdubbing, the vocalist would be brought in separately from the musicians, leading to a privileging of the vocals over other elements of the songs. As Chris Cutler has observed, the ‘myth of community’ of bands became even more of a sham as they didn’t even need to be in the same room when recording an album.

SORRY - you are not registered as being permitted online access to the full text of this article

You have the following options:

  1. If you are viewing this via an institution or academic library you can ask that your institution takes out a Subscription to this journal.
  2. If you already have a Personal Subscription please login below


    Forgotten your username / password? Click here to locate

  3. Purchase an annual Personal Subscription
    PRINT + DIGITAL personal subscription (£45 / year)
    DIGITAL personal subscription (£30 / year)
    A Personal Subscription provides immediate access not only to the single article you are seeking, but also to all past and future articles in this journal up to the expiry of your annual (calendar year) subscription.
  4. Purchase immediate access to this single article (UK£7.00) - Buy article Coming Soon

To cite this article
Paul Theberge (1989) The 'sound' of music: technological rationalization and the production of popular music, New Formations, 1989(8), -

Share this