[f_minor] Howard Scott

maryellen jensen maryellenjensen28 at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 8 17:45:40 MDT 2012

Herebelow is part of an e-mail sent to someone in early 2009 regarding Howard Scott and the transfer of recorded music from the 78 rpm format to the LP we all know and love (and which sounds better than a cd):

Though most of
the serious engineering problems had been solved by 1947, musical
and production ones had yet to be resolved. "Lps had to be
spliced together from short play masters and safety transcriptions
in a way that the customers heard no record breaks and the factory
had to turn out high quality discs in large quantity.
Goldmark had designed a splicing machine, but it was not sufficiently
accurate. Howard Scott, a musician hired to insure musical accuracy,
solved the problem. "Scott's job was difficult because the
recorded takes on the master safeties had not been calculated
for splicing. Scott's task involved tying together separate 78
rpm records often at musically awkward movements. Moreover, Scott
had a problem nobody ever anticipated: to keep the surface noise
at a steady level, so that listeners would not be conscious of
the different levels of the original disc. Together, Bachman and
Scott worked out a cuing system for the engineers. Twelve sections
were marked on the circumference of the turntable and numbered
to guide the engineers in setting down the stylus. Scott would
listen to the ends and beginnings of the sections to be spliced
and make appropriate notations on the score. When the time came
to set the second turntable in motion, he would call, 'Cue point.'
When the time came to set down the stylus, he would call, 'Go!'
and snap his fingers. Manual controls faded in the new record
and faded out the old one to guarantee a smooth splice and steady
surface noise without any switching sound.

On listening today,
these splices are as good as those that use tape.
(from Journal of Recorded Music)

 As ''the man behind the music of the LP,'' in his words, he was a founding father of the long-playing record. ''The Record That Changed the Music Business.'' The LP, which made 33
1/3 revolutions per minute, produced 20 minutes of music per side,
instead of 4 minutes on the old 78 r.p.m.'s. ''They had tried for seven
years to connect music on several 78's -- like Humpty Dumpty,'' said
Mr. Scott, who figured out how to splice 78's onto 33 1/3 lacquers, or
recording disks. Within a decade, the industry went from $2 million to
$3 million a year to $2 to $3 billion, he said. - from the N.Y. Times, 1998
 Glenn Gould had the great good fortune of learning from The Master. No wonder Howard Scott was invited for holidays at Lake Simcoe... What I've been trying to find out is why they stopped working together and when, I still haven't found any documentation explaining this.
It really is time to remove Gould from the pedestal - "kits" etc. - he really had nothing to do with 
advancing musical recording (technically) at all. As for preferring Streisand and English Rose 
Pet Clark over Dusty, Sandy Shaw, not to mention the black Divas of the mid to late sixties,...sigh...
I suppose it's simply a matter of taste.   


check out the rest of the Windows Live™.
More than mail–Windows Live™ goes way beyond your inbox.
 More than messages
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://ff0.org/pipermail/f_minor/attachments/20121009/fb86578f/attachment.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: gg columbia.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 21970 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://ff0.org/pipermail/f_minor/attachments/20121009/fb86578f/attachment.jpg>

More information about the f_minor mailing list