Sound investment.

Author:Beasley, Sandra

Works in Progress - Brief article


Recording tape, which employs billions of iron oxide particles that register either positive or negative voltage, is not a robust medium. The antsy iron molecules realign themselves with very little provocation, and the tape itself is subject to degradation under even small variances in temperature and humidity, let alone the cumulative effects of casual handling.

A trove of audio reel-to-reel tapes is one of the legacies of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which, founded in 1914, became one of America's most recorded orchestras in the 20th century. Concerts with such guest artists as Caruso, Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, Rachmaninoff, Heifetz, and Casals yielded tapes syndicated to radio stations around the country, most notably during a golden era in the 1950s and early '60s under Music Director Paul Paray.



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