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Live Music Versus Studio Recordings

Updated on December 5, 2012

Can recorded music hold a candle to live performance?

In a world of CD's, iPods, and YouTube videos, it seems as if the live performance of music has almost become a lost art. From Bach's musical liturgy, to John Phillip Sousa's touring marching bands, to the Beatles tearing up Shea Stadium, somehow we wound up relying on car stereos, computer speakers, and headphones to play us the music we listen to everyday. When it comes down to it, however, can those headphones and speakers really top a live performance? Many aspects we listen for admire in music can be lost or hindered by observing a musical recording as opposed to a live performance. Though some headphones and speakers are better than others, musical recordings can sometimes hinder tone, dynamics, and expression in a piece.

Many music forced in itunes and wav files are heavily compressed, limiting the quality of the recordings. Most times you converse with someone about a live performance however, they have nothing bad to say (unless they were at a Taylor Swift concert... JUST JOKING). This is primarily because they are able to more further enjoy every aspect of the music.

Being a musician and one who views many live performances, I can tell you live music is the way to go. Not only is the music more enjoyable because you are hearing it with your owns ears, but there is also a certain passion an artist has in performing thier original music that cannot be observed through most recordings. Seeing an artist live also presents the opportunity of possibly meeting the artist and discussing the music with him or her yourself (needless to say you can't meet an artist through an ipod or car speakers).

Certainly with the prices of live performance being much higher than the cost of a CD, many will opt out of paying for tickets to a concert. CD’s are fine! Just remember what you may be missing out on by choosing recordings over live performance.


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