Title: Perfecting Sound Forever
Author: Greg Milner
Genre: Music History
Page Count: 416 Pages


If I’m honest, Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music is not a book that I bought for myself. It was one that I discovered on U-Nam’s shelf – his interests in recording and sound are far greater than my own – but once I picked it up, I read it from cover to cover.

The book is very academic in style, so it gave me the perfect opportunity to experience feelings of nostalgia, reflecting on my time spent at university studying musicology. That said, it’s not a quick read. Milner’s book is certainly something that takes time to digest and has quite a few things to reflect on as a reader. Personally, I see that as a positive asset, but if you’re looking for something light and easy to get through, this book might not be for you.

Perfecting Sound Forever is a history of recorded music. It covers the invention of the phonograph by Thomas Edison all the way up to the popularization of digital samplers and recording tools such as ProTools. The book takes us around the world, from German radio transmissions during the war to the invention of the compact disc in Japan, detailing how these innovations have changed recorded music.


His theories on the techniques that have resulted in contemporary recorded musics are interesting and I recommend it to anyone interested in learning the history of recorded music.

A small disclaimer: There are purportedly mistakes regarding recording techniques in the book (according to reviews found on Amazon). I, myself, did not notice, but I do not have enough experience with different recording techniques to have recognized them. My experience in the studio has primarily been in front of a microphone and not behind the console.

Get Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music on Amazon.

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Published by Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a vocalist and saxophonist living in Southern California. She is author of "The Album Checklist" and the founder of Teen Jazz. She has been contributing articles to music magaizines and websites since 2004.