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The Recording Angel: Music, Records and Culture from Aristotle to Zappa, Second Edition 2nd Edition

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0300099041
ISBN-10: 0300099045
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A book that looks into the psychology and philosophy of the experience of listening to music on records, rather than just reviewing phonograph history, is an intriguing idea; and Eisenberg, a philosopher by training who writes on music and technology for a number of magazines, is ideally equipped to execute it. This study is almost too full of good things: bright perceptions abound on such questions as the difference between live listening, record listening and radio listening; on the nature of recorded music as a commodity; on the record-listening experience, solitary and social, with its various absurdities; andas becomes a philosopheron Platonic, even Marxist, concepts of the cultural context of canned music. Sometimes Eisenberg has so many thoughts going at once it's difficult to follow his flow, and the book is more loosely organized than it should be. But at his best, in a series of interviews with friends and acquaintances obsessed with recorded sound (he writes like a born novelist) or in a deeply intuitive look at the late Glenn Gould, his book cannot help but fascinate anyone with an ear for recorded music.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Praise for the first edition:“Witty, perceptive, informed, and dazzlingly allusive.”—David Hamilton, The Nation


“[The Recording Angel] throws out one arresting idea after another.”—Timothy Day, author of A Century of Recorded Music


“An excellent work... Eisenberg explores so much uncharted territory... Long overdue.” —Michael Kimmelman, The Philadelphia Inquirer


“A marvelous book, unlike any other.”—Garry Giddins

(Garry Giddins)

“A work of great originality and constantly stimulating argument.”—Geoffrey O’Brien

(Geoffrey O’Brien)

“Witty, perceptive, informed, and dazzlingly allusive.”—David Hamilton, Nation
 





(David Hamilton Nation)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 2 edition (June 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300099045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300099041
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Passionate About Music on August 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'm amazed to see that no one has reviewed this book, not even in its earlier edition. That edition was written in 1987. The new edition came out a couple of years ago, but it's basically the same book.

Overall it is very intelligent, thought provoking, and witty. Eisenberg wrestles with the experience of listening to recorded music. What does listening to recorded music do to us, and what does the process of recording do to music?

It's a collection of twelve essays that can be read in any order. Eisenberg is very well read. He seems to have read everything anybody has ever said about music and recorded music. So it's like a crash course in the aesthetics of music.

Eisenberg studied philosophy, and he veers between the personal and the very philosophical. From time to time he throws in a word that seems to be there solely to make you consult a dictionary. "... we can hear Vaughan William's Sixth Symphony as a peroration on the absolutely empty field of a future war." At this point I bet that most of us need to look up "peroration."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 1997
Format: Paperback
If you ever wanted to know if someone else really loves music and atributes their life blood to it, this is the book for you. Eisenfeld portrays the role music plays in several distinctly eccentric individuals' lives throughout the chapter, giving the reader not only a beautiful portrait of the characters, but of the universality of music as well.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is really an anthropological analysis of music in our culture, and how the documentation of music through recording has changed music's role. It also esxpresses the idea that recorded music (which Eisenberg calls "Phonography") is to live music as film is to theatre. Told from the perspective of someone who has equal admiration and recognition to Caruso, Mozart, Elvis Costello, Frank Zappa and Aristiotle, this music-philosophy book is remarkabl;y readable and quite profound. written before "sampling" of music was a popular artform. Really Great Stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Glenn D. Robinson on November 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
A very enjoyable book on the joys of record collecting. A gift from my father. I enjoyed it and the book expanded my thoughts on my own collection. If you are not into collecting music, you still might enjoy it, but if you are a collector, you will certainly enjoy it.
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1 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
How can I review a book that has been stolen from me, not once, but TWICE. Now it's out of print! Help . . .I need a copy
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