The Mental Traveller
"The Mental Traveller" is a poem by William Blake. It is part of a collection of unpublished works called The Pickering Manuscript and was written in a manner that suggests the poem was to be read directly from the collection; the poem is about travelling in the realm of the mind. Blake generalizes here "about the spiritual history of mankind out the experience of his own spiritual history." It can be understood as a cycle history of relations between society and idea of liberty in the form of a male and female that grow older and younger in opposition to the other experiencing such changes. As a whole, the poem portrays conflicting ideas that make it difficult for the reader to attach to any given viewpoint. "The Mental Traveller" was not etched, printed or published by Blake and instead stayed as a manuscript. The poem was part of The Pickering Manuscript, a collection of 10 poems without illustrations and 8 are fair copies without corrections. Since they were written in this manner, they were copied into the manuscript in order to be read from the collection.
The manuscript was owned by B. M. Pickering in 1866, it was published for the first time in 1863 in the 2nd volume of Alexander Gilchrist's Life of William Blake, Pictor ignotus, p. 98-102, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti with the commentary of his brother William Michael Rossetti. The poem was translated multiple times; the September 1925 issue of the French magazine Navire focused on Blake and included a series of translations by Auguste Morel and Annie Hervieu which included a translation of the poem called "Le Voyageur mental". "The Mental Traveller" was translated by Pablo Neruda into Spanish and published in 1935 in Visiones de las hijas de Albión y El viajero mental, de William Blake. Hirsh considers the best comment on the universal implication of the poem is the one of the earliest, written by W. M. Rossetti: "The Mental Traveller indicates an explorer of mental phænomena; the mental phænomenon here symbolized seems to be the career of any great Idea or intellectual movement—as, for instance, chivalry, art, &c.—represented as going through the stages of—1.
Birth, 2. Adversity and persecution, 3. Triumph and maturity, 4. Decadence through over-ripeness, 5. Gradual transformation, under new conditions, into another renovated Idea, which again has to pass through all the same stages. In other words, the poem represents the action and re-action of Ideas upon society, of society upon Ideas." There are 26 stanzas in the poem. The 1st one introduces the reader into the disturbing and tragic realm of the mind or spirit, the land of Men and Women whose sexual distinction suggests “the distinction between different sorts of spiritual ideals”: The “cold Earth wanderers” who in their “Newton’s sleep” and the concerns of the physical world "are not aware of man's tragic spiritual history" seen by the poet, “an Olympian observer of the human spirit” and wanderer in its realm; the 2nd stanza explains the difference between the two realms. Here "the Babe is born in joy / That was begotten in dire woe", the opposite to natural phenomena. So, "the Idea, conceived with pain, is born amid enthusiasm."
Damon considers this is the idea of Liberty: Here is a paraphrase of Psalms 126:5: "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." The 3rd stanza is the beginning the first story. "If of masculine, enduring nature, it falls under the control and ban of the existing state of society." Blake, within "The Mental Traveller" and other poems, returns to the Elizabethan reliance on metaphor when he says: The “woman old” represents the earth, old fallen world that opposes to the new ideas, but the purpose of the “newborn boy” is to renew it, he is a new spiritual or religious ideal. So, "the old woman is therefore the type of the religious persecutor and the type of fallenness and corruption." His persecution has the allusion to Prometheus, Jesus Christ as well as Dionysus, because old woman "nails him down upon a rock", in the 4th stanza she "binds iron thorns around his head", "pierces both his hands & feet", "cuts his heart out": In the 5th stanza "Her fingers number every Nerve / Just as a Miser counts his gold."
While crucified, the old woman is able to be healed. W. M. Rossetti commented: "As the Idea develops, the old society becomes moulded into a new society": In the 6th stanza the "purpose is accomplished", the world seems to be redeemed and "the terrestrial paradise has arrived": Stanza 7. Now the idea becomes dominant, it united to society in a sort of matrimony: Stanza 8. "It grows old and effete, living now only upon the spiritual treasures laid up in the days of its early energy." The protagonist is "wandering round" without faith or goal, he lost his ideal: Stanza 9. With a deep melancholy he looks at all his riches: the jewels of his soul and gold of his heart, which are the products of his creative activity, Blake means there are the works of his own art; this seems to be a self-biographical detail, it is that “Deep pit of Melancholy” that Blake reported in the letter to George Cumberland on the 2nd of July 1800: Stanza 10. "These still subserve many purposes of practical good, outwardly the Idea is in its most flourishing estate when sapped at its roots": The works of his art are "his meat and drink", he feeds with this spiritual nourishment others: "Beggar & the Poor", as well as some "wayfaring Traveller": Stanza 11.
W. M. Rossetti continued: "The halo of authority and tradition, or prestige, gathering round the Idea, is symbolized in the resplendent babe born on his hearth." As Damon stated, "from his own hospitality was born his Negation, the Female Babe," which is
Hard rock is a loosely defined subgenre of rock music that began in the mid-1960s, with the garage and blues rock movements. It is typified by a heavy use of aggressive vocals, distorted electric guitars, bass guitar and accompanied with keyboards. Hard rock developed into a major form of popular music in the 1970s, with notable bands such as AC/DC, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Aerosmith and Van Halen. During the 1980s, some hard rock bands moved away from their hard rock roots and more towards pop rock, while others began to return to a hard rock sound. Established bands made a comeback in the mid-1980s and it reached a commercial peak in the 1980s, with glam metal bands like Bon Jovi and Def Leppard and the rawer sounds of Guns N' Roses, which followed up with great success in the part of that decade. Hard rock began losing popularity with the commercial success of R&B, hip-hop, urban pop and Britpop in the 1990s. Despite this, many post-grunge bands adopted a hard rock sound and in the 2000s there came a renewed interest in established bands, attempts at a revival, new hard rock bands that emerged from the garage rock and post-punk revival scenes.
Out of this movement came garage rock bands like the White Stripes, the Strokes, Interpol and on, the Black Keys. In the 2000s, only a few hard rock bands from the 1970s and 1980s managed to sustain successful recording careers. Hard rock is a form of aggressive rock music; the electric guitar is emphasised, used with distortion and other effects, both as a rhythm instrument using repetitive riffs with a varying degree of complexity, as a solo lead instrument. Drumming characteristically focuses on driving rhythms, strong bass drum and a backbeat on snare, sometimes using cymbals for emphasis; the bass guitar works in conjunction with the drums playing riffs, but providing a backing for the rhythm and lead guitars. Vocals are growling, raspy, or involve screaming or wailing, sometimes in a high range, or falsetto voice. Hard rock has sometimes been labelled cock rock for its emphasis on overt masculinity and sexuality and because it has been predominantly performed and consumed by men: in the case of its audience white, working-class adolescents.
In the late 1960s, the term heavy metal was used interchangeably with hard rock, but began to be used to describe music played with more volume and intensity. While hard rock maintained a bluesy rock and roll identity, including some swing in the back beat and riffs that tended to outline chord progressions in their hooks, heavy metal's riffs functioned as stand-alone melodies and had no swing in them. Heavy metal took on "darker" characteristics after Black Sabbath's breakthrough at the beginning of the 1970s. In the 1980s it developed a number of subgenres termed extreme metal, some of which were influenced by hardcore punk, which further differentiated the two styles. Despite this differentiation, hard rock and heavy metal have existed side by side, with bands standing on the boundary of, or crossing between, the genres; the roots of hard rock can be traced back to the 1950s electric blues, which laid the foundations for key elements such as a rough declamatory vocal style, heavy guitar riffs, string-bending blues-scale guitar solos, strong beat, thick riff-laden texture, posturing performances.
Electric blues guitarists began experimenting with hard rock elements such as driving rhythms, distorted guitar solos and power chords in the 1950s, evident in the work of Memphis blues guitarists such as Joe Hill Louis, Willie Johnson, Pat Hare, who captured a "grittier, more ferocious electric guitar sound" on records such as James Cotton's "Cotton Crop Blues". Other antecedents include Link Wray's instrumental "Rumble" in 1958, the surf rock instrumentals of Dick Dale, such as "Let's Go Trippin'" and "Misirlou". In the 1960s, American and British blues and rock bands began to modify rock and roll by adding harder sounds, heavier guitar riffs, bombastic drumming, louder vocals, from electric blues. Early forms of hard rock can be heard in the work of Chicago blues musicians Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, the Kingsmen's version of "Louie Louie" which made it a garage rock standard, the songs of rhythm and blues influenced British Invasion acts, including "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks, "My Generation" by the Who, "Shapes of Things" by the Yardbirds, "Inside Looking Out" by the Animals, " Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones.
From the late 1960s, it became common to divide mainstream rock music that emerged from psychedelia into soft and hard rock. Soft rock was derived from folk rock, using acoustic instruments and putting more emphasis on melody and harmonies. In contrast, hard rock was most derived from blues rock and was played louder and with more intensity. Blues rock acts that pioneered the sound included Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Jeff Beck Group. Cream, in songs like "I Feel Free" combined blues rock with pop and psychedelia in the riffs and guitar solos of Eric Clapton. Jimi Hendrix produced a form of blues-influenced psychedelic rock, which combined elements of jazz and rock and roll. From 1967 Jeff Beck brought lead guitar to new heights of technical virtuosity and moved blues rock in the direction of heavy rock with his band, the Jeff Beck Group. Dave Davies of the Kinks, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, Pete Townshend of the Who, Hendrix and Beck all pioneered the use of new guitar effects like phasing and distortion.
The Beatles began producing songs in the new
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew on the genres of blues and blues, from country music. Rock music drew on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, incorporated influences from jazz and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar as part of a rock group with electric bass and one or more singers. Rock is song-based music with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become diverse. Like pop music, lyrics stress romantic love but address a wide variety of other themes that are social or political. By the late 1960s "classic rock" period, a number of distinct rock music subgenres had emerged, including hybrids like blues rock, folk rock, country rock, southern rock, raga rock, jazz-rock, many of which contributed to the development of psychedelic rock, influenced by the countercultural psychedelic and hippie scene.
New genres that emerged included progressive rock. In the second half of the 1970s, punk rock reacted by producing stripped-down, energetic social and political critiques. Punk was an influence in the 1980s on new wave, post-punk and alternative rock. From the 1990s alternative rock began to dominate rock music and break into the mainstream in the form of grunge and indie rock. Further fusion subgenres have since emerged, including pop punk, electronic rock, rap rock, rap metal, as well as conscious attempts to revisit rock's history, including the garage rock/post-punk and techno-pop revivals at the beginning of the 2000s. Rock music has embodied and served as the vehicle for cultural and social movements, leading to major subcultures including mods and rockers in the UK and the hippie counterculture that spread out from San Francisco in the US in the 1960s. 1970s punk culture spawned the goth and emo subcultures. Inheriting the folk tradition of the protest song, rock music has been associated with political activism as well as changes in social attitudes to race and drug use, is seen as an expression of youth revolt against adult consumerism and conformity.
The sound of rock is traditionally centered on the amplified electric guitar, which emerged in its modern form in the 1950s with the popularity of rock and roll. It was influenced by the sounds of electric blues guitarists; the sound of an electric guitar in rock music is supported by an electric bass guitar, which pioneered in jazz music in the same era, percussion produced from a drum kit that combines drums and cymbals. This trio of instruments has been complemented by the inclusion of other instruments keyboards such as the piano, the Hammond organ, the synthesizer; the basic rock instrumentation was derived from the basic blues band instrumentation. A group of musicians performing rock music is termed as a rock group. Furthermore, it consists of between three and five members. Classically, a rock band takes the form of a quartet whose members cover one or more roles, including vocalist, lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist, bass guitarist and keyboard player or other instrumentalist. Rock music is traditionally built on a foundation of simple unsyncopated rhythms in a 4/4 meter, with a repetitive snare drum back beat on beats two and four.
Melodies originate from older musical modes such as the Dorian and Mixolydian, as well as major and minor modes. Harmonies range from the common triad to parallel perfect fourths and fifths and dissonant harmonic progressions. Since the late 1950s and from the mid 1960s onwards, rock music used the verse-chorus structure derived from blues and folk music, but there has been considerable variation from this model. Critics have stressed the eclecticism and stylistic diversity of rock; because of its complex history and its tendency to borrow from other musical and cultural forms, it has been argued that "it is impossible to bind rock music to a rigidly delineated musical definition." Unlike many earlier styles of popular music, rock lyrics have dealt with a wide range of themes, including romantic love, rebellion against "The Establishment", social concerns, life styles. These themes were inherited from a variety of sources such as the Tin Pan Alley pop tradition, folk music, rhythm and blues.
Music journalist Robert Christgau characterizes rock lyrics as a "cool medium" with simple diction and repeated refrains, asserts that rock's primary "function" "pertains to music, or, more noise." The predominance of white and middle class musicians in rock music has been noted, rock has been seen as an appropriation of black musical forms for a young and male audience. As a result, it has been seen to articulate the concerns of this group in both style and lyrics. Christgau, writing in 1972, said in spite of some exceptions, "rock and roll implies an identification of male sexuality and aggression". Since the term "rock" started being used in preference to "rock and roll" from the late-1960s, it has been contrasted with pop music, with which it has shared many characteristics, but from wh
A recording studio is a specialized facility for sound recording and audio production of instrumental or vocal musical performances, spoken words, other sounds. They range in size from a small in-home project studio large enough to record a single singer-guitarist, to a large building with space for a full orchestra of 100 or more musicians. Ideally both the recording and monitoring spaces are specially designed by an acoustician or audio engineer to achieve optimum acoustic properties. Recording studios may be used to record singers, instrumental musicians, voice-over artists for advertisements or dialogue replacement in film, television, or animation, foley, or to record their accompanying musical soundtracks; the typical recording studio consists of a room called the "studio" or "live room" equipped with microphones and mic stands, where instrumentalists and vocalists perform. The engineers and producers listen to the live music and the recorded "tracks" on high-quality monitor speakers or headphones.
There will be smaller rooms called "isolation booths" to accommodate loud instruments such as drums or electric guitar amplifiers and speakers, to keep these sounds from being audible to the microphones that are capturing the sounds from other instruments or voices, or to provide "drier" rooms for recording vocals or quieter acoustic instruments such as an acoustic guitar a or fiddle. Major recording studios have a range of large and hard-to-transport instruments and music equipment in the studio, such as a grand piano, Hammond organ, electric piano. Recording studios consist of three or more rooms: The "live room" of the studio where the vocalists sing and instrumentalists play their instruments, with their singing and playing picked up by microphones and, for electric and electronic instruments, by connecting the instruments' outputs or DI unit outputs to the mixing board. Isolation booths are small sound-insulated rooms with doors, designed for instrumentalists. Vocal booths are designed rooms for singers.
In both types of rooms, there are windows so the performers can see other band members and the audio engineer/record producer, as singers and musicians give or receive visual cues. This equipment may make noise. Recording studios are designed around the principles of room acoustics to create a set of spaces with the acoustical properties required for recording sound with precision and accuracy; this will consist of both room treatment and soundproofing to prevent sound from leaving the property. A recording studio has to be soundproofed on its outer shell as well, to prevent noises from the surrounding streets and roads from being picked up by microphones. A recording studio may include additional rooms, such as a vocal booth—a small room designed for voice recording, as well as one or more extra isolation booths for loud guitar stacks and extra control rooms. Though sound isolation is a key goal, the musicians, audio engineers and record producers still need to be able to see each other, to see cue gestures and conducting by a bandleader.
As such, the "live room", isolation booths, vocal booths and control room have windows. Equipment found in a recording studio includes: A large professional-grade mixing console Additional small mixing consoles with 4, 8 or 16 channels, for adding more channels A large number of preamplifiers for microphones, such as the Neve 1272 and Neve 3104 Multitrack recorder Computers A wide selection of microphones. Studios have Neuman Tube mics, AKG tube mics, RCA ribbon mics, a number of Shure SM 57 and SM 58 mics. A large number of DI unit boxes Two or more record players Syncs A wide variety of microphone stands (boom stands, straigh
A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from musical form and musical style, although in practice these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Academics have argued that categorizing music by genre is inaccurate and outdated. Music can be divided into different genres in many different ways; the artistic nature of music means that these classifications are subjective and controversial, some genres may overlap. There are varying academic definitions of the term genre itself. In his book Form in Tonal Music, Douglass M. Green distinguishes between form, he lists madrigal, canzona and dance as examples of genres from the Renaissance period. To further clarify the meaning of genre, Green writes, "Beethoven's Op. 61 and Mendelssohn's Op. 64 are identical in genre – both are violin concertos – but different in form. However, Mozart's Rondo for Piano, K. 511, the Agnus Dei from his Mass, K. 317 are quite different in genre but happen to be similar in form."
Some, like Peter van der Merwe, treat the terms genre and style as the same, saying that genre should be defined as pieces of music that share a certain style or "basic musical language." Others, such as Allan F. Moore, state that genre and style are two separate terms, that secondary characteristics such as subject matter can differentiate between genres. A music genre or subgenre may be defined by the musical techniques, the style, the cultural context, the content and spirit of the themes. Geographical origin is sometimes used to identify a music genre, though a single geographical category will include a wide variety of subgenres. Timothy Laurie argues that since the early 1980s, "genre has graduated from being a subset of popular music studies to being an ubiquitous framework for constituting and evaluating musical research objects". Among the criteria used to classify musical genres are the trichotomy of art and traditional musics. Alternatively, music can be divided on three variables: arousal and depth.
Arousal reflects the energy level of the music. These three variables help explain why many people like similar songs from different traditionally segregated genres. Musicologists have sometimes classified music according to a trichotomic distinction such as Philip Tagg's "axiomatic triangle consisting of'folk','art' and'popular' musics", he explains that each of these three is distinguishable from the others according to certain criteria. The term art music refers to classical traditions, including both contemporary and historical classical music forms. Art music exists in many parts of the world, it emphasizes formal styles that invite technical and detailed deconstruction and criticism, demand focused attention from the listener. In Western practice, art music is considered a written musical tradition, preserved in some form of music notation rather than being transmitted orally, by rote, or in recordings, as popular and traditional music are. Most western art music has been written down using the standard forms of music notation that evolved in Europe, beginning well before the Renaissance and reaching its maturity in the Romantic period.
The identity of a "work" or "piece" of art music is defined by the notated version rather than by a particular performance, is associated with the composer rather than the performer. This is so in the case of western classical music. Art music may include certain forms of jazz, though some feel that jazz is a form of popular music. Sacred Christian music forms an important part of the classical music tradition and repertoire, but can be considered to have an identity of its own; the term popular music refers to any musical style accessible to the general public and disseminated by the mass media. Musicologist and popular music specialist Philip Tagg defined the notion in the light of sociocultural and economical aspects: Popular music, unlike art music, is conceived for mass distribution to large and socioculturally heterogeneous groups of listeners and distributed in non-written form, only possible in an industrial monetary economy where it becomes a commodity and in capitalist societies, subject to the laws of'free' enterprise... it should ideally sell as much as possible.
Popular music is found on most commercial and public service radio stations, in most commercial music retailers and department stores, in movie and television soundtracks. It is noted on the Billboard charts and, in addition to singer-songwriters and composers, it involves music producers more than other genres do; the distinction between classical and popular music has sometimes been blurred in marginal areas such as minimalist music and light classics. Background music for films/movies draws on both traditions. In this respect, music is like fiction, which draws a distinction between literary fiction and popular fiction, not always precise. Country music known as country and western, hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s; the polka is a Czech dance and genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and particular
Street Fighting Man
"Street Fighting Man" is a song by English rock band the Rolling Stones featured on their 1968 album Beggars Banquet. Called the band's "most political song," Rolling Stone ranked the song number 301 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Titled and recorded as "Did Everyone Pay Their Dues?", containing the same music but different lyrics, "Street Fighting Man" is known as one of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards' most politically inclined works to date. Jagger wrote it about Tariq Ali after he attended a 1968 anti-war rally at London's US embassy, during which mounted police attempted to control a crowd of 25,000, he found inspiration in the rising violence among student rioters on Paris' Left Bank, the precursor to a period of civil unrest in May 1968. Mick Jagger explained in a 1995 interview with Jann Wenner in Rolling Stone: Yeah, it was a direct inspiration, because by contrast, London was quiet... It was a strange time in France, but not only in France but in America, because of the Vietnam War and these endless disruptions...
I thought it was a good thing at the time. There was all this violence going on. I mean, they toppled the government in France, and so the government was inactive. And the French riot police were amazing. Richards said, only a few years after recording the track in a 1971 Rolling Stone interview with Robert Greenfield, that the song had been "interpreted thousands of different ways", he mentioned how Jagger went to the Grosvenor Square demonstrations in London and was charged by the police, yet he claims, "it is ambiguous as a song". Recording on "Street Fighting Man" took place at Olympic Sound Studios from April until May 1968. With Jagger on lead vocals and both he and Richards on backing, Brian Jones performs the song's distinctive sitar and tamboura. Richards plays the song's acoustic guitars as well as bass, the only electric instrument on the recording. Charlie Watts performs drums while Nicky Hopkins performs the song's piano, most distinctly heard during the outro. Shehnai is performed on the track by Dave Mason.
On the earlier, unreleased "Did Everybody Pay Their Dues" version, Rick Grech played a prominent electric viola. Watts said in 2003: "Street Fighting Man" was recorded on Keith's cassette with a 1930s toy drum kit called a London Jazz Kit Set, which I bought in an antiques shop, which I've still got at home, it came in a little suitcase, there were wire brackets you put the drums in. The snare drum was fantastic because it had a thin skin with a snare right underneath, but only two strands of gut... Keith loved playing with the early cassette machines because they would overload, when they overload they sounded fantastic, although you weren't meant to do that. We played in one of the bedrooms on tour. Keith would be sitting on a cushion playing a guitar and the tiny kit was a way of getting close to him; the drums were loud compared to the acoustic guitar and the pitch of them would go right through the sound. You'd always have a great backbeat. Richards commented on the recording: The basic track of, done on a mono cassette with distorted recording, on a Phillips with no limiters.
Brian is playing sitar, it twangs away. He's holding notes that wouldn't come through if you had a board, you wouldn't be able to fit it in, but on a cassette if you just move the people, it does. Cut in the studio and put on a tape. Started putting percussion and bass on it; that was an electronic track, up in the realms. The song opens with a strummed acoustic guitar riff. In his review, Richie Unterberger says of the song, "t's a great track, gripping the listener with its sudden, springy guitar chords and thundering, offbeat drums; that unsettling, urgent guitar rhythm is the mainstay of the verses. Mick Jagger's half-buried lyrics seem at casual listening like a call to revolution." Unterberger continues, "Perhaps they were saying they wished they could be on the front lines, but were not in the right place at the right time. Or they were declaring indifference to the tumult."Other writers' interpretations varied. In 1976, Roy Carr assessed it as a "great summer street-corner rock anthem on the same echelon as'Summer in the City','Summertime Blues', and'Dancing in the Street'."
In 1979, Dave Marsh wrote that it was the keynote of Beggars Banquet, "with its teasing admonition to do something and its refusal to admit that doing it will make any difference. The song was released within a week of the violent confrontations between the police and anti-Vietnam War protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Worried about the possibility of the song inciting further violence, Chicago radio stations refused to play the song; this was much to the delight of Mick Jagger, who stated: "I'm rather pleased to hear they have banned. The last time they banned one of our records in America, it sold a million." Jagger said he was told they thought the record was subversive, to which he snapped: "Of course it's subversive! It's stupid to think. I wish you could."Keith Richards weighed into the debate when he said that the fact a couple of radio stations in Chicago banned the record "just goes to show how paranoid they are". At the same time they were still requeste
Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U. S. label was established in late 1934 by Lewis, along with American Decca's first president Jack Kapp and American Decca president Milton Rackmil. In 1937, anticipating Nazi aggression leading to World War II, Lewis sold American Decca and the link between the UK and U. S. Decca labels was broken for several decades; the British label was renowned for its development of recording methods, while the American company developed the concept of cast albums in the musical genre. Both wings are now part of the Universal Music Group, owned by Vivendi, a media conglomerate headquartered in Paris, France; the US Decca label was the foundation company that evolved into UMG. The name "Decca" was coined by Wilfred S. Samuel by merging the word "Mecca" with the initial D of their logo "Dulcet" or their trademark "Dulcephone". Samuel, a linguist, chose "Decca" as a brand name; the name dates back to a portable gramophone called the "Decca Dulcephone" patented in 1914 by musical instrument makers Barnett Samuel and Sons.
That company was renamed the Decca Gramophone Co. Ltd. and sold to former stockbroker Edward Lewis in 1929. Within years, Decca Records Ltd. was the second largest record label in the world, calling itself "The Supreme Record Company". Decca continued to run it under that name. In the 1950s the American Decca studios were located in the Pythian Temple in New York City. In classical music, Decca had a long way to go from its modest beginnings to catch up with the established HMV and Columbia labels; the pre-war classical repertoire on Decca was select. The 3-disc 1929 recording of Delius's Sea Drift, arising from the Delius Festival that year, suffered by being crammed onto six sides, being indifferently recorded and expensive. However, it won Decca the loyalty of the baritone Roy Henderson, who went on to record for them the first complete Dido and Aeneas of Purcell with Nancy Evans and the Boyd Neel ensemble. Heinrich Schlusnus made important pre-war lieder recordings for Decca. Decca's emergence as a major classical label may be attributed to three concurrent events: the emphasis on technical innovation, the introduction of the long-playing record, the recruitment of John Culshaw to Decca's London office.
Decca released the stereo recordings of Ernest Ansermet conducting L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, including, in 1959, the first stereo LP album of the complete Nutcracker, as well as Ansermet's only stereo version of Manuel de Falla's The Three-Cornered Hat, which the conductor had led at its first performance in 1919. John Culshaw, who joined Decca in 1946 in a junior post became a senior producer of classical recordings, he revolutionised recording -- in particular. Hitherto, the practice had been to put microphones in front of the performers and record what they performed. Culshaw was determined to make recordings that would be'a theatre of the mind', making the listener's experience at home not second best to being in the opera house, but a wholly different experience. To that end he got the singers to move about in the studio as they would onstage, used discreet sound effects and different acoustics, recorded in long continuous takes, his skill, coupled with Decca engineering, took Decca into the first flight of recording companies.
His pioneering recording of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen conducted by Georg Solti was a huge artistic and commercial success. Solti recorded throughout his career for Decca, made more than 250 recordings, including 45 complete opera sets. Among the international honours given Solti for his recordings were 31 Grammy awards – more than any other recording artist, whether classical or popular. In the wake of Decca's lead, artists such as Herbert von Karajan, Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti were keen to join the company's roster. However, Culshaw was speaking, not the first to do this. In 1951, Columbia Records executive Goddard Lieberson partnered with Broadway conductor Lehman Engel to record a series of unrecorded Broadway musical scores for Columbia Masterworks, including what Engel, in his book The American Musical Theatre: A Consideration, termed "Broadway opera", in 1951, they released the most complete Porgy and Bess recorded up to that time. Far from being a mere rendering of the score, the 3-LP album set used sound effects to realistically recreate the production as if the listener were watching a stage performance of the work.
Until 1947, American Decca issued British Decca classical music recordings. Afterwards, British Decca took over distribution through its new American subsidiary London Records. American Decca re-entered the classical music field in 1950 with distribution deals from Deutsche Grammophon and Parlophone. American Decca began issuing its own classical music recordings in 1956 when Israel Horowitz joined Decca to head its classical music operations. To further American Decca's dedication to serious music, in August of 1950, Rackmill announced the release of a new series of disks to be known as the "Decca Gold Label Series", to be devoted to "symphonies, chamber music, opera and choral music." American and European arti