Vocal Tracks: Performance and Sound Media / Edition 1

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This entertaining and innovative book focuses on vocal performance styles that developed in tandem with the sound technologies of the phonograph, radio, and film. Writing in a clear and lively manner, Jacob Smith looks at these media and their industries through the lens of performance, bringing to light a fascinating nexus of performer, technology, and audience. Combining film aesthetics, cultural histories of technologies and industries, and theories of performance, Smith convincingly connects disparate and largely neglected niches to explore the development of a modern vocal performance. He analyzes an astonishingly diverse range of media texts-phonographic laughing records, broadcast laugh tracks, acting styles found in radio melodramas, singing styles heard on recordings of popular music, and secret recordings of prank phone calls-to illustrate how performance styles developed in response to technological mediation.

About the Author:
Jacob Smith is Lecturer in the Institute of Film and Television Studies in the Department of American and Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham

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Editorial Reviews

Screening The Past
“Heterogeneous and ambitious . . . Smith has generously supplied an opportunity for future research.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520254947
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 8/4/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jacob Smith is Lecturer in the Institute of Film and Television Studies in the Department of American and Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Pt. 1 Flooding Out

1 Recorded Laughter and the Performance of Authenticity 15

2 Erotic Performance on Record 50

Pt. 2 A Finer Grain of the Voice

3 The Nearness of You; or, The Voice of Melodrama 81

4 Rough Mix 115

Pt. 3 Bugging the Backstage

5 The Act of Being Yourself 165

6 Phony Performances 200

Conclusion 243

Notes 251

Bibliography 271

Index 287

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