The Influence of Recording Technology and Practice on Popular Music Performance in the Recording Studio in Poland between 1960 and 1989
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London College of Music, University of West London
Publication date: 2016-12-28
Polish Sociological Review 2016;196(4):531-548
When recorded Polish popular music between 1960 and 1989 is compared to music from the USA and Western Europe, there is a striking difference in the sound of the productions. A positivist narration of these differences might characterize them as being more ‘advanced’: of using newer technologies and the techniques that grew out of them. This article aims to look deeper into these musical and sonic differences and to explore how economic and technological factors affected these differences through a variety of social mechanisms. While a particular set of working practices and value judgments about those practices can be seen to have been maintained by these factors, the article will also look at how that caused a different set of musical and sonic developments. By employing Actor Network Theory underpinned by the ecological approach to perception and embodied cognition, the way that occupational and social roles evolved in Poland’s music industry during this period will be examined. Although the lack of availability of new recording and instrument technologies was important, it will also be seen that by channeling musical creativity in different directions when the new technological options weren’t open, Polish popular music developed differently rather than simply belatedly.
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