Music in the age of digital reproduction.

Undergraduate Dissertation.

‘Tradurre è tradire’: Music in the Age of Digital Reproduction explores of the impacts of the distribution of recorded music as a compressed digital audio file, examining its effects upon the music that it serves to reproduce, and the consequential changes in the relationship between music and listener. In this essay I examine the graphic representations of recorded music in order to quantify the objective sonic alterations made by file compression algorithms and, through the subsequent study of original recordings and their twenty-first-century re-masters, I consider the premeditated musical changes made in compensation. I evaluate the medium’s socio-cultural significance through its comparison with a variety of different media, from language to visual art, drawing upon the writings of a range of critical and social theorists in an attempt to identify the manner in which the medium has altered our approach to listening, and our relationship with recorded music in the twenty-first century.