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Technical Mastery

From bone flutes to pianos and tape machines to GarageBand, Tom Service listens to the impact of music technology down the ages and asks what you do when anything is possible.

From the dawn of human music-making, all instrumental music has been made via technology, whether bone flutes, violins, pianos, tape or synthesisers. Is new musical technology driven by the needs of composers and musicians or are they dazzled by its possibilities before they can really get to grips with it? How has cheap technology impacted on music, now that laptops have done for expensive studios and choosy producers. Do the infinite possibilities of today's digital technology limit musical imagination?

To help answer these and many other questions, Tom is joined by Maggie Cole, player of keyboard-based technologies from the clavichord to the synthesiser, and by composer, producer, and surfer of today’s digital technological Utopia, Jono Buchanan.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Fri 15 May 2020 16:30

Music Played

  • Karlheinz Stockhausen


    Performer: Péter Eötvös. Performer: Harald Bojé.
    • Warner.
  • Maurice Ravel

    String Quartet in F major: II. Assez vif et bien rythmé         

    Performer: Quatuor Ébène.
    • Erato                     .
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Serenade in B flat major for 13 wind intruments, K.361: III. Adagio

    Performer: Maurice Bourgue Wind Ensemble.
    • Pierre Verany.
  • Jean-Baptiste Arban

    Variations on a Tyrolian theme

    Music Arranger: Harvey. Performer: Frank Lloyd. Performer: Philip Jones Brass Ensemble.
    • Clavez.
  • Justin Timberlake


    Composer: Danja. Composer: Timbaland. Performer: Justin Timberlake.
    • Jive.
  • Richard Wagner

    Das Rheingold

    Performer: Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele. Performer: Daniel Barenboim.
    • Warner Classics.
  • Edgard Varèse


    Performer: 1st Interpolation of Organised Sound (Pre-Recorded Tape).
    • Decca.
  • Harry Partch

    And On The Seventh Day Petals Fell In Petaluma

    Performer: Gate 5 Ensemble. Performer: Harry Partch.
    • New World.
  • Daphne Oram


    Composer: Daphne Oram.
    • Paradigm.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Sonata No. 5 In C Minor, Op. 10 No. 1: 1. Allegro molto e con brio

    Performer: Melvyn Tan.
    • Virgin Classics.
  • Daniel Bedingfield

    Gotta Get Through This

    Performer: Daniel Bedingfield.
    • Relentless.
  • Lodovico Giustini

    Suonata V: IV. Corrente: Allegro

    Performer: Luca Guglielmi.
    • Stradivarius.
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

    Les Langueurs Tendres H 110

    Performer: Lorenzo Ghielmi.
    • Winter & Winter.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Trio No. 1 in Eb major, Op. 1 No. 1: I. Allegro

    Performer: Trio Goya.
    • Chandos.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor, Op. 1 No. 3: I. Allegro con brio

    Performer: Trio Goya.
    • Chandos.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major, Op. 106 'Hammerklavier': I. Allegro

    Performer: Paul Badura-Skoda.
    • Astrée.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Prelude Op. 28 No. 7 in A major

    Performer: Alec Cobbe                                     .
    • Private Recording (by kind permission of the Cobbe Collection).
  • Franz Liszt

    Réminiscences de "Don Juan" (after Mozart), S. 418: V. Quasi Presto.

    Performer: Alexander Melnikov.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major, K. 331: III. Rondo alla turca - Allegretto

    Performer: Lang Lang.
    • Sony.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Seasons, Op. 37b: XI. Novembre (Course en Troïka)

    Performer: Sergey Rachmaninov.
    • Decca.
  • Conlon Nancarrow

    Study for Player Piano No. 37

    Performer: Piano roll.
    • Other Minds.
  • John Cage

    Sonata No.5 for prepared piano

    Performer: David Greilsammer.
    • Naïve.
  • John Cage

    Williams Mix

    Performer: Earle Brown.
    • Wergo.
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen

    Gesang der Junglinge

    Performer: Studio for Electronic Music of the West German Radio Cologne.
    • EL Records.
  • Pierre Schaeffer

    Cinq études de bruits: I. Étude aux chemins de fer

    Performer: Electronic Tape.
    • EL Records.
  • Freddie Mercury

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    Performer: Queen.
    • EMI.
  • Wendy Carlos

    Music for A Clockwork Orange - Beethoviana

    Performer: Wendy Carlos.
    • East Side Digital.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Sinfonia to Cantata No.29

    Music Arranger: Wendy Carlos. Performer: Wendy Carlos.
    • CBS                            .
  • Björk

    Earth Intruders

    Performer: Björk.
    • One Little Indian.


  • Sun 30 Sep 2018 17:00
  • Sun 10 May 2020 17:00
  • Fri 15 May 2020 16:30

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