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Annotated Bibliography

Barnard Stephen (2000) Studying Radio, London: Arnold

Barnard begins this text by describing how initially; Radio was intended for private
communication, and owing to the simultaneous development of the Telephone, each was used
for different purposes. At this time the military was interested in wireless communications,
yet David Sarnoff’s words, regarding a ‘radio music box’ becoming an object of everyday
life, would eventually be realised. Later chapters are primarily concerned with how licensing
laws affected the radio station’s programming, and therefore some of their audiences listened
to pirate radio stations instead. Finally it discusses how radio could develop in the future,
with digital or DAB technology and also raises an interesting question on BBC licensing fees.

This book is very accessible to the reader, and explains in detail an alternate discourse
surrounding the history of radio. Barnard suggests, that the development of radio should not
be viewed as merely a series of technological advancements, and further attention should be
given to how broadcasting institutions have developed through a period of significant social
and cultural change. Furthermore he states that when studying radio it is useful to consider
‘the creation and evolution of institutional and regulatory structures and … how the medium
responded to the growth and contraction of the audience’ (BARNARD P.9) this is supported
by a timeline of the significant events and technological developments of US and UK radio
from 1880 to 1999.

Overall this text is very informative and offers a vast amount of factual information, which
highlights the similarities and differences of British and American radio policy. Furthermore
it covers various aspects of radio broadcasting, such as commercial radio, marketing, and the
human voice, all of which are important factors to consider when analysing a programme.
Bergh Arild and Tia Denora From wind-up to iPod: Techno-cultures of Listening in Nicholas
Cook, Eric Clarke, Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, and John Rink [Eds] - The Cambridge
Companion to Recorded Music Cambridge: University Press

This work discusses the aesthetic differences between how people listen to music, and how
listening may be both passive and active. Later in the text the authors describe how listening
in ‘the west’ (Active Listening) was a relatively slow process, which they partly attribute to
events from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries which supressed physical participation
in music, and may also be seen as the beginning of the high art – low art dichotomy.

Interestingly this piece also recognises the symbiotic relationship between the recording
equipment and the sound reproduction equipment, or the producer and the audience. Owing
to the cheaper radio receivers, more people listened to the radio, therefore there were more
stations to accommodate the different genres. ‘…the decreasing cost of recording, listening
and distribution equipment allowed different strata of society access to an ever-widening
range of music’(P.109) In addition it also briefly mentions how listeners choice of music can
often give clues to their own ‘personal cannons’ This element of demographics is important
to radio as their shows are often aimed towards a certain listenership.

Overall this text is very informative and raises interesting questions regarding how people
usually consume music, further it provides an alternate discourse when viewing recorded
music. That the way we listen to music is a reflexive practice, and how we experience it, is
often dependent on the locality in which we are hearing it. Finally, Bergh & Denora believe
that recorded music has democratised the field, as previously only wealthy people would be
able to employ musicians to play for them, this is especially true of radio as it has been an
affordable medium for over 50 years.
Chapman Roy (1992), Selling the Sixties: The Pirates and Pop Music Radio, London:
Routledge

This text begins with a brief history of the BBC and its model of promotion. First formed
in1922, the BBC, under John Reith’s management, set out to ‘Inform, Educate and Entertain’
From the very first committee inquiry, the BBC has always maintained, ‘advertisements
would lower the standard’ Chapman later writes how Reith and his colleagues had distrust for
the American commercial system, and goes on to state how Reith viewed at as ‘The
Apotheoisis of Vulgarity’ (Chapman 3)

Chapman also accounts for the initial unwillingness of the BBC to programme Rock and Roll
music. This was arguably a rejection of the American system on an ideological basis, as
education and entertainment were seen as mutually exclusive. This cultural environment
created a niche for pirate stations such as Radio Caroline, which were exempt from licensing
laws.

‘The common consensus [BBC] was that while these cultural artefacts [Rock and Roll
records] might be aired occasionally, there would surely never be entire programs devoted to
them.’ (Chapman 2)

As a result of new legislation applying to pirate stations, many ceased to broadcast (Not
Radio Caroline.) Consequently, Radio 1 was formed, in order for the BBC to compete with
the increased demand for popular music. Interestingly the BBC sourced DJ’s from these
closed pirate stations. Tony Blackburn for example, was the first DJ to broadcast on radio 1,
and had previously worked on both Radio Caroline and Radio London.

This text is particularly useful as it contains lots primary source material from DJ’s working
at these stations, and shows how radio broadcasting changed the way the British public, at
this time, consumed their music. Furthermore it gives an account of how people were
consuming music at this time, and the circumstance in which pirate stations were created.
Doctor Jennifer (1999), The BBC and Ultra-Modern Music 1922-1936: Shaping a Nation’s
Tastes, Cambridge: University Press

Doctor begins this work by identifying two main periods of the BBC; firstly, as the ‘British
Broadcasting Company’ (1922-26) and then, as a Corporation under royal charter (1927-36).
The factors influencing the BBC in these formative years are then explained, such as how
political unrest in Europe during the 1930’s, resulted in a mass migration of European
refugees, which influenced early policy at the BBC. Furthermore the fact that the BBC had
access to large amounts of money, at such an economically unstable time (During the Stock
Market Crash), allowed it to quickly gain resources and credibility.

‘…within a decade of its formation, the BBC not only became the most significant music
disseminator in Britain [but also] the foremost employer of British musicians’ (Doctor P.16)

This quote shows how vast the influence of the BBC was in music, and the text later explains
that the BBC hired some of the many musicians that were un-employed due to the advent of
talking films in the late 1920’s. Later it discuses the origins of radio and the ‘Marconi
Company’, who started by broadcasting brief news and music shows in February 1920, yet
were again shut down, in November of the same year, as it was thought they could interfere
with military signals, eventually Marconi would become RCA in America.

This work is especially helpful as it provides background knowledge surrounding the early
years of the BBC, what its’ original intentions were and how they have altered over time.
Although its range of dates is very limited, it does give supporting information about early
policy, which is, according to Barnard, useful in analysing the progression of radio.
Patmore David (2009) ‘Selling Sounds: Recordings and the Record Business’ in Nicholas
Cook, Eric Clarke, Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, and John Rink [Eds] - The Cambridge
Companion to Recorded Music Cambridge: University Press

This essay briefly explains how sound recording technology progressed from Edison’s
Phonograph in 1887, to digital recording methods and MP3 files.

Patmore later summarises some of the more important developments to this field, such as the
invention of magnetic tape, which for the first time allowed for errors to be corrected, and
removed the need for a perfect take. Also, the importance of tape may be seen in facilitating
the increase of independent labels. As Patmore later states, ‘Greater air-play of recordings on
radio assisted the consequent dramatic growth of [rock ‘n’ roll] as did the increasing presence
of many smaller, independent labels.’(Patmore 131)

In addition, he mentions the introduction of stereo recording in 1958, this is particularly


important to radio, as when most radio stations converted from an AM to an FM signal
(Amplitude /Frequency Modulated), they were able to broadcast in both higher quality and
stereo. On the other hand, it also details how more recent advancements have had a negative
impact on the recording industry, such as MP3 technology, which allowed music to be shared
via the Internet.

Throughout the course of this essay, Patmore provides detailed information regarding the
various recording formats that were available and accounts for the effects that they had on
both the production and dissemination of music. However, owing to the year of its
publication, it does not discuss any of the issues concerning our modern consumption of
music.
Zak Albin (2009) Getting sounds: The Art of Sound Engineering in Nicholas Cook, Eric
Clarke, Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, and John Rink [Eds] – The Cambridge Companion to
Recorded Music Cambridge: University Press

This essay begins with describing how when early sound recording technology progressed to
using better quality microphones, sound engineers had an aesthetic choice to make on
whether or not to include certain aspects of a performance, which Zak describes as ‘Sonic
Realism.’ Later in the text, there is a sub heading of ‘Analytical Listening’, in this section he
raises the issue of how music’s permanence and its separation from a visual experience, has
allowed it to receive greater scrutiny. He writes “as technologies … became more complex,
sounds were removed from their narrative and textural contexts in order to examine and
refine their most subtle details.’ (P.71) In the final section of this essay he summarises the
effect of the ‘project studio’ and the wider availability of affordable recording equipment on
the music industry.

Zak’s text is a thorough, technical account of some of the common recording methods, and
explains the different characteristics of certain microphones and studio effects such as Delay
and Compression. A technique especially relevant to radio is multi-band compression, which
was first used on that medium to give stations their distinctive sound.

Finally, this is a concise text that deals with some of the main issues surrounding what Hans
Braun called the ‘technologization of musical aesthetics’ and how sound engineers have an
ever-increasing influence on an artist’s sound. In some cases, the producer’s ‘sound
signature’ may be immediately apparent on the track, such as Hugh Padgham’s work on Peter
Gabriel’s third album.
Bibliography

Chapman Roy (1992), Selling the Sixties; The Pirates and Pop Music Radio London:
Routledge

Cook Nicholas (2009), Eric Clarke, Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, and John Rink [Eds] - The
Cambridge Companion to Recorded Music Cambridge: University Press

Doctor Jennifer (1999), The BBC and Ultra-Modern Music 1922-1936: Shaping a Nation’s
Tastes Cambridge: University Press