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Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction - California Scholarship Online
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Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction

Arved Ashby


Recordings are now the primary way we hear classical music, especially the more abstract styles of “absolute” instrumental music. This book argues that recording technology has transformed our understanding of art music. Contesting the laments of nostalgic critics, the author sees recordings as socially progressive and instruments of a musical vernacular, but also finds that recording and absolute music actually involve similar notions of removing sound from context. He takes stock of technology's impact on classical music, addressing the questions at the heart of the issue. This study reveals ... More

Keywords: classical music, instrumental music, recording technology, art music, absolute music

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780520264793
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520264793.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Arved Ashby, author