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This edition: Recording History

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Episode Details

The recording industry in the United States traces its origins back to the pioneering inventions of Thomas Edison and Emile Berliner. What began as a rivalry among the early inventors and innovators of recording technology quickly became a long, grueling battle among corporate heavyweights. Audio recording also sparked revolutionary new cultural trends that surpassed even the drama of its corporate wars and its torrential flow of new technological innovations. Audio recording represents a major leap forward in the intermingling of once-separate cultures and in the emergence of what could be considered a global culture. When rock and roll burst into American culture, audio recording helped fuel a major generational rupture that would ripple into the social upheaval of the 1960s and beyond. With the emergence of multitrack recording and other sophisticated studio technologies, producing became an art form in its own right. This lesson explores the history of the dramatic interplay among corporations, recording technologies, and the cultures and subcultures of music.