Music: The Tapesichordists

Every age has had its characteristic instruments: in the 17th century it was the voice, in the 18th the clavier and pipe organ, in the igth the piano and the symphony orchestra. The 20th century instrument is the record machine—a phonograph or a tape recorder.

Until recently, the instrument has been little more than a musical morgue where performances could be preserved and exhumed at will. Last summer the U.S. got a taste of creative recording in France's musique concréte, a compilation of natural sounds (trains, bells, crowd noises, etc.), recorded on tape, cut and spliced at patterns to make a composition.


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