Previous chapters of this book have explored how the paradigm of reproduction has hampered the understanding of music as performance. This chapter argues that it has also hampered the practices of both performance and recording. In classical record production the paradigm of reproduction took the form of Walter Legge’s “best seat in the hall” ideology, according to which recordings should replicate the optimal concert hall experience. In practice, recordings do not conform to this, but as an ideology it has prevented exploration of the potential for creating a specifically phonographic experience. And while recordings have imitated performances, performances have become increasingly like recordings, meaning that neither recordings nor live performances fully exploit the potential of their respective media. The chapters central claim is that better thinking about performance and production may unlock untapped creative potential, so strengthening the position of classical music in today’s world.
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