Research on Music and Audio

Dr. David Pickett’s researches in musical history frequently involve the study of audio recordings. This should come as no surprise, since from the moment that it is made, a recording is an historical document. His experience as an audio engineer and producer is very helpful in such studies. In many cases an understanding of the technologies and techniques involved in the recording and manufacturing processes is essential for the accurate evaluation of the musical significance of a recorded document. A knowledge of historical circumstances and events, as well as the interaction and interdependence of musicianship and engineering, provide insights that cannot be gained otherwise.

David Pickett also writes a Blog on various themes, including music and technology.

The topics on the lists below will open in separate windows. Most of them use MP3 files to illustrate their points.

Recordings of Mahler Symphonies

These topics all arose from a long project involving listening to many recordings of Mahler’s symphonies, from the very earliest up to the present day. (Obviously, I did not listen to all of those that have ever been made, since they number well in excess of 2,000!) Some of the fruits of this research were distilled in a chapter entitled “Mahler on Record — the Spirit or the Letter?” for the book Perspectives on Gustav Mahler which was edited by Jeremy Barham and published by Ashgate Press in 2005. In writing the chapter I was keenly aware that the reader needed access to the recordings quoted in order to be able to verify the points I made. I have therefore enlarged on some of the most interesting findings here and illustrated these by means of extracts from scores and audio recordings.

    “Klezmer Musik” in the First Symphony
    The Offstage Band in the Second Symphony
    The Earliest Recording of the Second Symphony
    Orchestral Balance in Jascha Horenstein’s Mahler Recordings
    Glissandi in the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies
    The Naked Note in the Scherzo of the Fifth Symphony
    Dynamics in the Finale of the Sixth Symphony

Mahler’s Reinstrumentation of the Works of other Composers

    Beethoven: Overture, zur Weihe des Hauses

Click here for more information on Dr. David Pickett’s Mahler research

Surround Sound

    Ambisonic Sound Recording Techniques
    A letter to Stereophile Magazine

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Copyright © David Pickett 2009—2016