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Last on

Sat 15 Feb 2014 10:30 BBC Radio 4

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 15 February 2014

Musician and songwriter Midge Ure looks at the many ways scientific and technological innovation have stimulated creativity in pop music.

From the invention of the steel guitar string, through the tape recorder and the synthesiser, to the drum machine and Autotune, musicians have always embraced the latest ideas and adapted or distorted them to produce new sounds.

Musicians Anne Dudley (Art of Noise) and Thomas Dolby join music journalist David Hepworth and blues researcher Tom Attah, exploring how the laboratory has informed and inspired the studio.

Midge demonstrates what you can achieve with just a laptop these days - but laments the passing of an age of invention in popular music.

Featured music includes The Beatles, Chopin, Thomas Dolby, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Charlie Christian, Les Paul and Mary Ford, The Tornados, The Small Faces, Queen, The Sweet, Stevie Wonder, Band Aid, Art of Noise, Donna Summer, Fat Boy Slim, Cher, Daft Punk and Nick Clegg.

Producer: Trevor Dann
A Trevor Dann production for BBC Radio 4.

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