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ARSCLIST  May 2007

ARSCLIST May 2007

Subject:

Re: Ethics. was Record Business vs. Music Business: The Shakeout Continues.

From:

"Steven C. Barr(x)" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 11 May 2007 22:44:23 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (60 lines)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike Richter" <[log in to unmask]>
> Steven Smolian wrote:
> > When a performer has a bad day in the concert hall and he recorded 
> > without being aware that it is a "recording session."  A radio broadcast 
> > was made with the expectation that it would vanish at the end of the 
> > broadcast.  The idea of recording from the audience, out of balance, 
> > etc., was clearly so illegal that many never considered it at all.  
> > Until the miniatrre tape recorder, that is.
> > 
> > This obsession with making public every performance instance can be one 
> > reason for the "tightening up" of performances that might otherwise be 
> > more relaxed, intended for the hearing of the paying audience only.  Are 
> > we becoming an intrusive "recorderrazzi"?
> > 
> > This is clearly an ethical issue.  Having said this, I confess to 
> > enjoying musical performance gossip as much as the next guy.
> > 
> > Steve Smolian
> 
> While not disagreeing with your point at all, let me suggest the other 
> side of the coin. The persistence (not to say permanence) of recording 
> freezes imperfections as well as achievements. That becomes a factor 
> leading to sterility of studio recording and the drive for preserving 
> the excitement and 'truth' of live performance, warts and all.
> 
> The fact is that a studio recording is differently inauthentic but 
> overall neither more nor less honest than one from the audience. The 
> ethics may also be argued - where does piracy begin and legitimate 
> preservation end? In a sense, Lionel Mapleson's recordings from the 
> wings of the Met in 1900 may have been the first music piracy.
> 
Except...

The studio recording, here in the XXI Jahrhundert, will have been
literally dismantled and reassembled to meet with not only the
wishes/whims of the producer, but also the upper-level staff of
the issuing record company! As such, any resemblance the finished
version may have to the original music played at the original
session may well be strictly inadvertant and unintended...

Recall that the Beatles eventually had to give up touring, since
they could no longer recreate the sounds heard on their issued
recordings...and that was almost 40 years ago...!

Finally, the "Mapleson cylinders" could be (or have been) an
early version of "piracy"...except...at that early date it was
not a standard practice for record companies to sign artists
to "recording contracts," making them only legally able to make
records for one given company (as well as, possibly, granting
them royalties on the sales of their recordings). Caruso may
have been the first artist to sign such a contract...?! At
the time (1900) "piracy" referred to the practice of electroplating
records to provide new "matrices" from which duplicate records
could be pressed and sold by a different firm. This was only
applicable to disc records, since cylinders were not yet moulded
and thus could only be duplicated mechanically...

Steven C. Barr

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