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Soundbreaking is an eight-part series on the art and evolution of music recording.
Preview: S1 | 2m 25s
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The Era of Private Music Listening
Engineer Bob Ludwig traces the rise of the cassette tape.
Clip: Ep8 | 2m 59s
The Record Wars and Rock and Roll
Steven Van Zandt traces the birth of the single and the LP.
Clip: Ep8 | 3m 20s
Next on Episode 8
“I Am My Music” explores how formats, from the LP to mp3s, have shaped our musical lives.
Preview: Ep8 | 30s
Jimmy Jam: MTV Was White Rock Music Television
At launch, black artists found themselves excluded from MTV.
Clip: Ep7 | 3m 15s
Next on Episode 7
“Sound and Vision” follows the rise of MTV and how video overhauled the industry.
Preview: Ep7 | 30s
An Experiment, A “One Off”: Nirvana on MTV Unplugged
Producer Scott Litt and Dave Grohl explore MTV Unplugged.
Clip: Ep7 | 3m 13s
The Holy Trinity of Hip Hop and Rap Music Was Three DJs
Public Enemy’s Chuck D. traces the roots of Hip Hop to the Caribbean “toasting” tradition.
Clip: Ep6 | 1m 22s
Next on Episode 6
"The World is Yours" looks at the art of sampling and the musical revolution it inspired.
Preview: Ep6 | 30s
Questlove: Rappers Delight Was a War of the Worlds Moment
Chuck D didn't believe there would ever be a good rap record because rap was an "event."
Clip: Ep6 | 4m 31s
The Power of Gospel’s Frenzied Rhythm
The pounding rhythm at the core of Gospel is the foundation of rock and roll music.
Clip: Ep5 | 2m 17s
Next on Episode 5
“Four on the Floor” gives a look at rhythm in music, the pulse that stirs our senses.
Preview: Ep5 | 30s
Nile Rodgers: The Crowd Where The Music Never Stops
Nile Rodgers takes us from the hippies of Greenwich Village to Disco and Dance music.
Clip: Ep5 | 2m 18s
The Who in the Studio: The Synth is a Member of the Band
The synthesizer played an unforgettable role on the incredible back catalog of The Who.
Clip: Ep4 | 2m 41s
Next on Episode 4
“Going Electric” explores how amps and electrification transformed sound.
Preview: Ep4 | 30s
What Would Happen to the Music Business Without Electricity?
Plugging in launched a musical revolution creating sounds never heard before.
Clip: Ep4 | 2m 9s
The Making of the Song: Imogen Heap
Recording techniques have allowed the voice to take on a new role as an instrument.
Clip: Ep3 | 2m 48s
The Unmistakable Bessie Smith
The power of women’s voices define the power of the Blues for Bonnie Raitt.
Clip: Ep3 | 2m 3s
Next on Episode 3
“The Human Instrument” explores the art and science of recording the human voice.
Preview: Ep3 | 30s
Nobody Knew That Boston Wasn’t Really a Band At All
Tom Scholz reveals that the rock band Boston was a one-man recording studio experiment.
Clip: Ep2 | 1m 35s
Next on Episode 2
"Painting with Sound" reveals how the recording studio itself became an instrument.
Preview: Ep2 | 30s
The Elevated Musical Consciousness of The Beach Boys
Don Was discusses the musical process of the Beach Boys through "Pet Sounds."
Clip: Ep2 | 4m 15s
The Recording Studio As A New Tool of Black Empowerment
Rapper Q-Tip on Sly Stone's ability to create unique funk productions as his own producer.
Clip: Ep1 | 2m 7s
Producing Joni Mitchell Isn’t Realistically Possible
Producer Peter Asher explores the unique talents of musical innovator Joni Mitchell.
Clip: Ep1 | 1m 4s