A Most Valuable Medium ? The Remediation of Oral Performance on Early Commercial Recordings
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|No. of pages:||238 pages|
|Illustrations:||10 Halftones, black & white|
Between 1895 and 1920, the United States saw a sharp increase in commercial sound recording, the first mass medium of home entertainment.
As companies sought to discover what kinds of records would appeal to consumers, they turned to performance forms already familiar to contemporary audiences?sales pitches, oratory, sermons, and stories. In A Most Valuable Medium, Richard Bauman explores the practical problems that producers and performers confronted when adapting familiar oral genres to this innovative medium of sound recording. He also examines how audiences responded to these modified and commoditized presentations.
Featuring audio examples throughout and offering a novel look at the early history of sound recording, A Most Valuable Medium reveals how this new technology effected monumental change in the ways we receive information.
Bauman is a master of his craft. A Most Valuable Medium enables us to benefit from his vast accumulated knowledge and insights as he explores the early world of phonographic recordings of spoken genres, from street-corner sales pitches to country store tall tales. His is a decidedly important contribution to understanding the rise of broadcasting, which has been widely assumed to begin with the advent of radio in 1920. It is also a major contribution to our understanding of the discourse processes of decontextualization and circulation that are central to the constitution and maintenance of modern public spheres.