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Article

Katherine K. Preston and Michael Mauskapf

This article addresses the history of individuals and organizations devoted to the management of musical artists and their careers in the United States.

Musicians who toured the United States during the first half of the 19th century relied on individuals to manage their tours. Some of the most important early impresarios included William Brough, ...

Article

Daniele Buccio

(b Canton, OH, Aug 18, 1905; d West Redding, CT, July 31, 1978). American composer, violinist, bandleader, recording engineer, and producer. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University, he performed as a light classical violinist in the United States and Europe. During the 1930s he studied conducting with Maurice Frigara in Paris. After a near-fatal car accident in ...

Article

A lyricist writes the text for a song; the term is also applied to those who supply the text to certain other forms of vocal music. As part of the production and performance of a song, the lyricist participates as part of a larger process involving songwriters, arrangers, producers, publishers, and performers. Many notable lyrics worked in fruitful collaboration with a specific ...

Article

NPR  

Timothy M. Crain

NPR, formerly known as National Public Radio, is a privately and publicly funded nonprofit membership media group. Its primary focus involves the production, syndication, and distribution of news and cultural programming to US public radio stations. Individual NPR stations, however, may broadcast programming from various sources that have no formal affiliation with NPR. NPR also manages the Public Radio Satellite System, which distributes NPR programs and other programming from independent producers and networks....

Article

Albin Zak

A person who plans and oversees the execution of recording projects. Producers’ specific roles vary considerably, depending on musical idiom, historical era, and an individual’s qualifications. A useful breakdown of types is offered by Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler: “documentarian,” “servant of the project,” and “artist.” While Wexler addressed his analysis to the roles of pop producers, the general concept applies to other idioms as well. The documentarian seeks to capture musical events with as little apparent intrusion as possible. The servant of the project takes a more active role, suggesting repertory, pairing performers, and offering aesthetic opinions on performances, arrangements, tempo, balance, and so forth. The producer as artist describes a person whose creative vision and stylistic inclinations exert a decisive influence on the project, an ultimate authority not unlike a film director. However a producer approaches the role, he or she is responsible for overseeing and judging the work of performers and recording engineers, for managing a project’s budget and schedule, and for serving as a record company’s agent on a given project....

Article

Laura B. Schnitker

A type of radio station operating on a college or university campus that is run by students. Although such stations did not achieve prominent status in the music industry until the late 1970s, when they became stages for up-and-coming artists, college radio is one of the older types of broadcasting in the United States....

Article

Gillian Turnbull

Radio that is owned by a private, nonprofit organization and publicly funded, usually by donations from citizens or a local community. Community radio differs from public radio, which is government-supported; college radio, which is university-supported; and commercial radio, which is privately owned. As noted by Howley, community radio should not be conflated with alternative media, which strives to overturn or alter prevailing media systems. Rather, community radio is participatory in nature, drawing involvement from the station’s stakeholders and listeners but maintaining the structures and practices common to public and commercial stations. It is assumed that there is a high degree of accountability to listeners, who predominantly run and fund the station. The often limited amount of advertising time allotted to community stations dictates the need for external fundraising through pledge drives, grants, and donations. Community radio can serve a specific geographical region or a particular demographic or special-interest group. Programming includes music that is not mainstream (for example, independent artists or more obscure genres) and local-interest news and shows. It purports to represent marginalized or social and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in commercially oriented media. In its programming, the aim of community radio is to provide analysis of current events and culture that is otherwise absent from the public and corporate arms of broadcasting....

Article

Albin Zak

A person engaged primarily with the technological and acoustic aspects of sound recording. Engineers are charged with rendering musical events in an electronic form according with the event’s musical style and tradition. As such, they contribute a blend of technological and musical knowledge unique among a recording team’s members. As sound waves are converted into electricity and begin their journey along the electrical signal path, arriving finally at the listener’s ear, the engineer’s controlling hand and sensibility guide the way at nearly every step....

Article

An organization that represents the US recording industry; its members include record labels and distributors that collectively create and distribute the vast majority of recorded music sold in the United States. In addition, the RIAA works to protect intellectual property rights and the rights of artists through consumer, industry, and technical research, and by monitoring state and federal laws, regulations, and policies....

Article

Thomas Lewis

(b Uzlian, province of Minsk, Russia, Feb 27, 1891; d New York, NY, Dec 12, 1971). Broadcasting executive of Russian birth. The son of a housepainter and a seamstress, Sarnoff immigrated to the United States with his mother and brothers in 1900. The family joined their father in a tenement on New York City’s Lower East Side. Within days of his arrival Sarnoff worked in communications, selling newspapers, delivering telegraph cables, and then serving as an office boy, telegraph operator, and chief inspector for the American Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company. After World War I, the Marconi Company pooled its radio patents with those from ATT, Westinghouse, General Electric, and others to form the Radio Corporation of America. Sarnoff became commercial manager and eventually president, CEO, and chairman of the board. At RCA Sarnoff made four significant contributions to music production and consumption in the 20th century: a proposal for a “radio music box”; the creation of the National Broadcasting Company; the acquisition of the Victor Talking Machine Company; and the creation of the NBC Symphony Orchestra....