GASP 31: Critical Popular Music Studies Week 4 Reading
GASP 31: Critical Popular Music Studies Week 4 Reading ARTS 031
Popular in Critical Popular Music Studies
Popular in Arts and Humanities
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Joseph Lim on Wednesday September 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ARTS 031 at University of California - Merced taught by Emily Gale in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Critical Popular Music Studies in Arts and Humanities at University of California - Merced.
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Date Created: 09/07/16
Poetics of Rock- Albin Zak Tape Recorder o Saw its rapid development in Germany during the 1930s which was used for Nazi Propaganda. o Introduced overdubbing for recording music. Successive performance that are combined or overlaid within the unitary time frame by disc or piece of magnetic tape. >Ensemble Performance Was only available on film at the time which was placed on a lacquer disc where the sound quality would deteriorate over time. Bachet recordings used overdubbing which was rare. Les Paul o Found ways to improve sound quality and increase number of overdubs. Used disccutting lathe made from a Cadillac flywheel to make records that could go through generations of disc transfers without destroying the sounds quality. From the account of his son Gene, it was accomplished by recording the least important parts of the arrangement and by minimizing the use of microphones. When he plugged his electric guitar in the recording console, it took away layers of room and background noise while saving the most important musical elements last would retain the most clarity in sound. o Breakthrough hit in 1947, where he recorded with eight guitars that he played himself in the recording of Rodger’s and Heart’s “Lover.” o Acquired a tape recorder in 1948 and he and his wife Mary Ford made a recording with 12 overdubs in 1950 called “How High The Moon” Released in March 26, 1951, it was number one on The Hit Parade in less than a month. Bruce Swedien o Recording engineer and record producer who stated that “How High The Moon’ changed pop music forever in which songs didn’t have to present popular music in concert form. A record could take its own form in the recording process. o Paul used oral modes which was the combination of memory and improvisation. It is represented by inscriptions in the iron oxide particles of the magnetic tape. Transition from concertlike form to the process of becoming deliberate composition, and its product in, an original musical work. Rock and Roll o Paul’s innovations at first had little direct impact on rock and roll, Older audiences was popular with their style of music and teenagers soon had the money to spend on their own music. Many artists didn’t like or understand the new music and Paul considered it inept at best. o The people who came to associate with what was called rock and roll had little interest in constructing recordings systematically. Rock and roll came to be a mixture of blues, R and B, gospel, country, and jazz. The records were not seen as works but snapshots of live performances. Rock and Roll Popularity o The rise in popularity was not only of live performances but also mass radio exposure which was fed by records. 45rpm singles singles were the staple of teenager’s record collections. They were affordable, accessible, and mass customers, made rock singles have a commercial potential in the music market. o Elvis Presley became a massive celebrity because of a hit song in which they had little to no exposure to live performances. Records had the power to generate fame and wealth for musicians and businessman alike. Writers who pointed on the emphasis of records as the key to rock’s distinguishing features. o Carl Bez Made the first historical account of rock that it had existed primarily on records in which records were the music’s initial medium. o Charlie Gillet Published the book Sound of City: The Rise of Rock and Roll which tells the story entirely on records. o Peter Wicke Said rock was the first form of music to be distributed in mass quantities in records and that its existence is in records and the mass media. o Theodore Gracyk Writes that rock is essentially dependent on recoding technology. It is through records that artists announce and stipulate new works. Elvis Presley o Recordings began to take on a different sort of identity>The creation of the recorded voice. Shift from the sound of the actual performance to the sound of the recording. o Sam Phillip’s wanted to hear Elvis’s recorded voice which would be the central character in a dramatic production, and what concerned Phillips was the transmutation of Elvis’s physical presence into an electronic persona. Sam Phillip o Rock and Roll records do not simply capture and make portable an image of a performance. San Phillips create a unique setting for a real time performance instead of creating electronic distortion and artificial echo to make distinctive sounds. o Les Paul’s overdubbing made way to the development of multitrack tape machines and recording techniques. In 1954, he began development on a machine that would record eight parallel tracks on a single piece of tape where the Ampex Model 3008 was fully operational in 1957. One of the problems the engineers had to overcome was the time delay between recording and playback that resulted in a gap between the machine’s record and playback heads. It was fixed by having a single gead provide both record and playback function simultaneously. o Dubbed “the Octopus” it gained control over individual elements that overdubbing didn’t provide. Each overdub could be stored separately on its on track and the accumulated tracks mixed together at some later time. Multitrack Composition o Demand grew for recorders and tape mulations with more and more tracks in the mid60s. o It was mostly unexplored in the first decade of its existence. The resistance was caused by musicians fears of being put out of work for the machine’s hefty price of 11000 dollars and added tape noise. The only record label to acquire the machine was Atlantic Records where the chief engineer Tom Dowd was the first to master it. The record company wanted to capture the dynamic energy of complete performances. Rock Recordists o Initially had indifference to the eighttrack machine. Multitrack recording was seen as a violation of the expressive line, The sensibilities of rock and roll recordists were influenced by the practices that they knew from the various music they had grown up with. o Rock and Roll focused on records to make for a greater willingness to experiment with the medium and the process. o Multitracking did not diminish the passion of musical performances but rather that their performances had to be extraordinary for records in which the traces they left on the tape would forever be their persona of the record. o The multichannel mixing console provided several inputs. Microphone, added ambience, and tape echo controls. The performances that were live on the recording was controlled electronically on the console. Musical Images o Musicians leave the traces of their emotions, experiences, and sounds of their musical expression on tape where the composite sound image that we recognize as the musical work is fashioned by recording engineers and prodcuers. They are the musician’s artistic collaborators in which their actions and aesthetic choices are represented in the form of the finished work. Technical Skills and Aesthetic Sense draws together recording’s three principal elements. Musical Parts Performances Sounds