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A bit over 30 years ago, pianist Glenn Gould wrote a visionary article entitled “The Art of Recording” (High Fidelity, April 1966) in which he predicted that the live performance of music would disappear and be replaced by the wonders of studio recording. He went far beyond this, stating that “elevator music”—already a fairly pervasive irritant at the time—could become a revolutionary force in arts and expression, turning from a soporific into a stimulant, subliminally teaching people the essential listening and creative skills of music, and elevating—as it were—music to replace language as a universal form of emotional communication.
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