Music: The Sound Around Us

Stereophonic sound, in its taped infancy the plaything of audiophiles with a yen for hearing a realistic pingpong ball, seems ready to make itself heard in the mass record market. Last week Columbia Records removed the only obstacle to industry agreement on standards for new stereo records by announcing that it had set aside its own, different, version of a sound-in-the-round disk.

The majors have been recording stereophonically (i.e., channeling the sound into two tracks) as well as monaurally for several years to build a repertory backlog for eventually selling the average home listener on stereo's extra depth and clarity. A small...

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