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Early History of Amplified Music: Transectorial Innovation and Decentralized Development

The earliest manifestation of electronically amplified music performance where made possible by more or less contemporaneous and preceding developments in telephony, radio and sound film. This transectorial innovation is discussed by highlighting the improved directional characteristics of transducers in late 1920s. By applying a theoretical construct based on centrifugal and centripetal forces, the paper goes on to argue that, lacking the requirements of distribution networks further developments of the sector grew up very different to the other electroacoustic industries. In conclusion the paper proposes to, instead of aiming for one history of amplified music with a well established timeline, historians are better of researching the many individual local histories of all the roadies, sound engineers, entrepreneurs and specialized R&D professionals that populate the stories of live sound.

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