Below is a link to a Washington Post chat conducted by Mark Katz,
professor at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, on the effect that
technology has on all sorts of music, including classical. He has
written a book, "Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music."
There's lots of things to ponder; here's a brief excerpt:
"However, certain ideas in the book have generated some controversy.
One in particular is my argument that the prominent and continuous
vibrato we hear in classical violin playing today is what I call
a "phonograph effect." I suggest that in the early decades of
the 20th century violinists started using more vibrato because,
among other things, it helped them project their sound better
to early recording machines. (There's more to it than that, but
I'd run out of time if I tried to explain it all here.) The idea
that something so integral to string playing (and singing, too)
might have arisen as a response to something so mundane as poor
recording equipment is certainly going to be unpalatable to
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