OK, perhaps it’s not “Jaws” or other typical beach reading, but the journal Nature has been running a fascinating series of articles on music and science, including articles by John Sloboda, Nicholas Cook, and Philip Ball. They’ve now made all of the articles available as one download, or you can also browse and download single articles, and access a related podcast. (Note that the articles are listed on the web page in reverse chronological order, with the last in the series at the top).
There’s a fascinating story on WNYC’s Soundcheck blog today, which details a process used by the company Zenph, which uses actual audio recordings of keyboard music to re-create live performances, on a computer-driven Disklavier. Their claim is that the process is accurate enough to capture all of the details of an original piano performance. Of course, other performance issues, such as the room, the instrument, the audience, and how these may have been factors in the artist’s performance, cannot be factored in.
I think this raises many interesting issues of performance vs. recording vs. the perception of “liveness”. To me personally, even at its best this can only be another form of recording, rather than a “live performance”.
The music publisher Henle has an interesting video on their site, which details the classic music engraving process (using metal plates). Have a look here.