In an unguarded moment some months ago, I predicted that the public concert as we know it today would no longer exist a century hence, that its functions would have been entirely taken over by electronic media. It had not occurred to me that this statement represented a particularly radical pronouncement. Indeed, I regarded it almost as self-evident truth and, in any case, as defining only one of the peripheral effects occasioned by developments in the electronic age. But never has a statement of mine been so widely quoted—or so hotly disputed.
Despite the opposite of this having turned out to be true — the concert, at least for popular music, is more alive and vital to artist revenue than ever — Glenn Gould’s seminal essay, The Prospects of Recording, seems as fresh today as when it was written in 1966.
Read a shortened version from the link above, or tune into UbuWeb for the 90-minute radio documentary, broadcast a year earlier and featuring the voices of Marshall McLuhan, Leopold Stokowski, and many more.