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A brief history of re-performance

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dc.contributor.advisor William Uricchio. en_US Seaver, Nicholas Patrick en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Comparative Media Studies. en_US 2010-10-29T13:54:10Z 2010-10-29T13:54:10Z 2010 en_US 2010 en_US
dc.description Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Comparative Media Studies, 2010. en_US
dc.description This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections. en_US
dc.description Cataloged from student submitted PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 93-97). en_US
dc.description.abstract Discussions of music reproduction technology have generally focused on what Jonathan Sterne calls "tympanic" reproduction: the recording and playback of sounds through microphones and speakers. While tympanic reproduction has been very successful, its success has limited the ways in which music reproduction is popularly imagined and discussed. This thesis explores the history of "re-performance," an alternative mode of reproduction epitomized by the early twentieth-century player piano. It begins with a discussion of nineteenth-century piano recorders and the historical role of material representation in the production of music. It continues with the advent of player pianos in the early twentieth century that allowed users to "interpret" prerecorded material, blurring the line between performance and reproduction and inspiring popular reflection on the role of the mechanical in music. It concludes with the founding of the American Piano Company laboratory in 1924 and the establishment of a mechanically founded rhetoric of fidelity. Bookending this history is an account of a performance and recording session organized by Zenph Studios, a company that processes historical tympanic recordings to produce high-resolution data files for modern player pianos. Zenph's project appears futuristic from the perspective of tympanic reproduction, but is more readily understood in terms of the history of re-performance, suggesting a need for renewing critical attention on re-performative technologies. Contemporary developments in music reproduction such as music video games and sampling may make new sense considered in the context of re-performance. This alternative history aims to provide a ground on which such analysis could be built. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Nicholas Patrick Seaver. en_US
dc.format.extent 97 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject Comparative Media Studies. en_US
dc.title A brief history of re-performance en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US S.M. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Comparative Media Studies. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 670237330 en_US

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