Dr. Jan-Peter Herbst

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The Art of Record Production - Technologies, practices and styles of popular music production

Popular music is much more characterised by music technology than most other music. As early as in the 1960s, musicologists such as Carl Belz, Wilfried Mellers and Hermann Rauhe stressed the relevance of studio technology for popular music. Despite this finding, little research was done on music production, partly due to the lack of a common platform. Since 2005 however, with the establishment of the „Association for the Art of Record Production“, this new field of cross-disciplinary research began to flourish.

This postgraduate seminar deals with the production of popular music from a music and media analysis perspective. As a starting point, we reconstruct the historical development of phonography. In this context, we also focus on the change of the recording studio and respective professions. Subsequently, we will analyse musical, technical and aesthetic characteristics of specific production styles, concentrating on influential producers and sound engineers, famous studios and record labels plus genre-specific production practices and circumstances. We will not only observe these influences but also analyse the interrelation of the musical material with their socio-cultural and economic contexts.

Please note: Since mainly academic music professionals determine this field of research, participants should have practical experience as a musician, producer, sound engineer, or in another music industry profession.


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