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Laurence Libin

cultures have no concept of music as a distinct pursuit, but all peoples employ objects to modulate sound for communication and entertainment, and in hunting, worship, and other activities. Various noisemakers, such as children’s toys, voice modifiers, and animal decoys, are included here for comprehensiveness and comparison, as are examples of playback equipment (e.g. musical boxes, player pianos, turntables) occasionally used to originate music, not only reproduce it. The proliferation of electronic instruments of all kinds and their growing capabilities (e.g. through the


Desmond Shawe-Taylor

the most assiduous and cosmopolitan opera-going. Not only do more and more of the voluminous works of Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi reach the catalogues, but also the operas of Franz Schreker, George Enescu, Albéric Magnard and many more. A cautious writer now hesitates to describe any opera as inaccessible on disc for fear of being proved wrong by the time his words are printed. As for the standard classics, it is scarcely possible to exaggerate the ‘mushrooming’, during the 1980s, of the record industry and its activities. All this, it may well be thought, is by and