The term “music transmission” covers all processes involved in the conveyance of musical sound across large distances or temporal intervals. This includes processes for recording, storing, editing, conducting and playing back music.
On the one hand, music transmission relies on technical equipment that operates on the basis of mechanical, electrical, magnetic and optical principles (usually in combination). On the other hand, it also requires the actions of persons, such as musicians, recording engineers, sound directors, producers and listeners. For a long time, the type of technical equipment to use, the conditions under which it should be operated, and the way to work with others in order to achieve certain musical effects were all matters of implicit knowledge, and that knowledge was restricted to particular vocational groups and passed on at educational institutes. It is only in the last twenty years that this knowledge has been committed to writing on a broad scale and systematic research into these matters has been conducted. This research looks at both technical instruments and the people using them. It explores a broad range of questions concerning technical, historical, psychological, sociological, economic and cultural aspects of music transmission.