The evolution of multitrack recording of popular music has led to significant changes in style and aesthetics, compared to live performances and the recordings derived from them. Central to these issues is the idea that music may be represented by a single waveform over time and the emergence of a -loudspeaker music- aesthetic based on the tension that exists between the A+B and A-B elements in stereophonic playback of multitrack recordings. This paper reviews the technology systems and usages that have influenced these changes, and discusses the validity of the current assumptions and practices in terms of psychoacoustical principles. Particular emphasis is paid to the idea of stereophony as it is employed in multitrack popular music recording.
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