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Classical Notes

Live vs. Recorded Music

Posted at 12:43 PM on August 8, 2008 by Gillian Martin

I remember hearing a linguist talk once about how changing technology leads to the creation of new phrases for old ideas. "Black and white television," for example--for years there was only "television"; only with the introduction of color television did a new phrase become necessary to describe the pre-existing concept.

"Live music" is one of those phrases. As someone who thinks about classical music all day, I often try to get my head around the fact that for most of human history, music only existed in the moment when someone was actually making it.

In this column, conductor David Robinson waxes philosophical about "live music" and why it's so important.