Special Sound

Special Sound : The Creation and Legacy of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop

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Special Sound traces the fascinating creation and legacy of the BBC's electronic music studio, the Radiophonic Workshop, in the context of other studios in Europe and America. The BBC built a studio to provide its own avant-garde dramatic productions with experimental sounds "neither music nor sound effect." Quickly, however, a popular kind of electronic music emerged in the form of quirky jingles, signature tunes such as Doctor Who, and incidental music for hundreds of programs. These influential sounds and styles, heard by millions of listeners over decades of operation on television and radio, have served as a primary inspiration for the use of electronic instruments in popular music. Using in-depth research in the studio's archives and papers, this book tells the history of the many engineers, composers, directors, and producers behind the studio to trace the shifting perception towards electronic music in Britain. Combining historical discussion of the people and instruments in the workshop with analysis of specific works, Louis Niebur creates a new model for understanding how the Radiophonic Workshop fits into the larger history of electronic music.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 408.23g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 17 photographs and 9 musical transcription
  • 019536841X
  • 9780195368413
  • 456,782

Table of contents

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Review quote

Louis Niebur delves illuminatingly into a hitherto untold story to throw a deserved spotlight on the creative talents involved. * Michael Quinn, Editor's Choice for 2011, Classical Music Magazine * Niebur's research into this early history of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop is wickedly illuminating * David Toop, Times Higher Education * excellent ... [Neibur] draws on specially undertaken and published interviews with key participants, as well as a treasure trove of written material from the BBC Written Archives Centre, and original programmes. * Timothy Boon, British Journal for the History of Science * immaculately researched. * Mark Brend, Record Collector *
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About Louis Niebur

Louis Niebur is Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of Nevada, Reno.
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Rating details

21 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 29% (6)
4 43% (9)
3 29% (6)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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