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Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music Paperback – 15 Oct 2010
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"I only wish I had put as much thought into making records as Mark Katz does in appreciating and analyzing them. I've always said that what I do is not rocket science but critiques like this make it sound like it has a place in modern culture." - Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, composer, producer, DJ; "Katz provides a model of how studies of music and technology should be done." - Tim Taylor, author of Global Pop" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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"In Capturing Sound, Mark Katz focuses on the overwhelming technological transformation that changed music from a medium of elite and canonical performances to a mass-consumed fashion-object experienced privately. Underneath the wealth of scholarship and insight about how new recording techniques continue to change our experience of music, Katz wonders how we ourselves have been changed by the successive recording technologies that emerged since Edison. This is a one-of-a-kind book. It will change your mind about why and how we listen to music."--Giles Slade, author of Made To Break"I only wish I had put as much thought into making records as Mark Katz does in appreciating and analyzing them. I've always said that what I do is not rocket science, but critques like this make it sound like it has a place in modern culture."--Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, composer, producer, DJ See all Product description
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This spring (2012) I had a chance to read the revised edition with a doctoral seminar, and I was very impressed with the number of refinements, extensions, and additional references. The revised edition reads as though Katz spoke with admirers and critics--some sections students found less convincing in the first edition have been greatly improved, and the best parts are untouched or improved. Given that many second editions today are cranked out simply to allow the publisher an opportunity to cut down on book reselling, a revision this extensive is uncommon and very welcome.
There are many wonderful books that deal with sound recording today, and having read many this remains the book I recommend most frequently.
Before I gave up on the book, I realized the author probably did not set out to write a book on how technology has changed music. He more likely took his prior work and repackaged it into a book.
And I am not alone in my appreciation for this book. In 2007 it won the Hacker Prize, which provided the following citation:
The Hacker Prize rewards exceptional scholarship that reaches a broad audience. The audience so captured by Capturing Sound is primarily an undergraduate one, thus Katz has presented the Committee with a welcome opportunity to reward pedagogical writing. Textbooks are a genre that always challenge, and usually defeat, even the best of writers. Breaking the mold of the seemingly objective, chronologically-impelled narrative, Katz has produced a very different kind of work that succeeds on three different levels, all of which are important to historians of technology.
I agree, and I think it will give other readers a new-found appreciation and understanding of their musical tastes and collections. And with the knowledge it imparts, you may find yourself discovering new evidence of the book's primary thesis: the phonograph effect. Even in today's world of CDs and MP3s (which, do not fear, Katz treats thoroughly).