Not Fade Away

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20100923

How do you end a piece of music? For 500 years pieces always had a clear ending. But in the 20th Century music often ended with a fade out instead. Stuart Maconie looks at how and why this change came about.

Pop songs often fade but classical music nearly always has a very clear ending, often a climax with all the performers playing a rousing cadence which almost guaranteed applause.

An early exception is Haydn's Farewell Symphony of 1772 which ends with the players leaving the stage one by one, until there are only two players left. Haydn wrote it as a hint that the players needed a break.

Holst's Planets Suite (written 1914 -16) ends with a chorus of women's voices sound fading into nothing - perhaps the first true example of a fade in music.

At the same time, recording technology was developing and fades could be created by moving away from the recording horn. And record companies began imposing endings for commercial reasons or to fit it onto a side of a 78 record, sometimes with quite brutal results.

With the advent of modern recording techniques it became easy to create a fade electrically and from the 1950s onwards this became commonplace.

But it was in the 1960s when the fade came into its own, particularly with the iconic 2 minute fade of Hey Jude.

So has the fade out simply become a lazy way to end a song? And what happens when that song is played live and a fade isn't possible?

Stuart Maconie draws from his own experience as a dj and we also hear from Stephen Johnson presenter of BBC Radio 3's Discovering Music, Jacob Smith Lecturer in Film and Television Studies and remastering engineer Roger Beardsley. And Martyn Ware of Heaven 17 talks about ending songs live that faded out in the studio versions.

Stuart Maconie looks at how to end a piece of music.

How do you end a piece of music? For 500 years pieces always had a clear ending.

But in the 20th Century music often ended with a fade out instead.

Stuart Maconie looks at how and why this change came about.

An early exception is Haydn's Farewell Symphony of 1772 which ends with the players leaving the stage one by one, until there are only two players left.

Haydn wrote it as a hint that the players needed a break.

At the same time, recording technology was developing and fades could be created by moving away from the recording horn.

And record companies began imposing endings for commercial reasons or to fit it onto a side of a 78 record, sometimes with quite brutal results.

Stuart Maconie draws from his own experience as a dj and we also hear from Stephen Johnson presenter of BBC Radio 3's Discovering Music, Jacob Smith Lecturer in Film and Television Studies and remastering engineer Roger Beardsley.

And Martyn Ware of Heaven 17 talks about ending songs live that faded out in the studio versions.

20100923

How do you end a piece of music? For 500 years pieces always had a clear ending. But in the 20th Century music often ended with a fade out instead. Stuart Maconie looks at how and why this change came about.

Pop songs often fade but classical music nearly always has a very clear ending, often a climax with all the performers playing a rousing cadence which almost guaranteed applause.

An early exception is Haydn's Farewell Symphony of 1772 which ends with the players leaving the stage one by one, until there are only two players left. Haydn wrote it as a hint that the players needed a break.

Holst's Planets Suite (written 1914 -16) ends with a chorus of women's voices sound fading into nothing - perhaps the first true example of a fade in music.

At the same time, recording technology was developing and fades could be created by moving away from the recording horn. And record companies began imposing endings for commercial reasons or to fit it onto a side of a 78 record, sometimes with quite brutal results.

With the advent of modern recording techniques it became easy to create a fade electrically and from the 1950s onwards this became commonplace.

But it was in the 1960s when the fade came into its own, particularly with the iconic 2 minute fade of Hey Jude.

So has the fade out simply become a lazy way to end a song? And what happens when that song is played live and a fade isn't possible?

Stuart Maconie draws from his own experience as a dj and we also hear from Stephen Johnson presenter of BBC Radio 3's Discovering Music, Jacob Smith Lecturer in Film and Television Studies and remastering engineer Roger Beardsley. And Martyn Ware of Heaven 17 talks about ending songs live that faded out in the studio versions.

Stuart Maconie looks at how to end a piece of music.

How do you end a piece of music? For 500 years pieces always had a clear ending.

But in the 20th Century music often ended with a fade out instead.

Stuart Maconie looks at how and why this change came about.

An early exception is Haydn's Farewell Symphony of 1772 which ends with the players leaving the stage one by one, until there are only two players left.

Haydn wrote it as a hint that the players needed a break.

At the same time, recording technology was developing and fades could be created by moving away from the recording horn.

And record companies began imposing endings for commercial reasons or to fit it onto a side of a 78 record, sometimes with quite brutal results.

Stuart Maconie draws from his own experience as a dj and we also hear from Stephen Johnson presenter of BBC Radio 3's Discovering Music, Jacob Smith Lecturer in Film and Television Studies and remastering engineer Roger Beardsley.

And Martyn Ware of Heaven 17 talks about ending songs live that faded out in the studio versions.

Genome: [r1 Bd=19890207]

A Tribute to Buddy Holly

It was 30 years ago this week that Buddy Holly died but his influence lives on, in spite of a career which lasted only 18 months.

Among those paying tribute:

Cricket Jerry Allison , producer Norman Petty , Paul McCartney and Holly's mother, brother and widow.

Presented by Alan Freeman Researcher PETE FRAME

Producer KEVIN HOWLETT

Genome: [r1 Bd=19890207]

Unknown: Buddy Holly

Unknown: Jerry Allison

Producer: Norman Petty

Producer: Paul McCartney

Presented By: Alan Freeman

Presented By: Researcher Pete

Producer: Kevin Howlett

Genome: [r1 Bd=19940102]

30 Years of Top of the Pops

New Year's Day 1964 saw the birth of Britain's longest running pop show, with DJ Jimmy Savile and guests Dusty Springfield, the Beatles and the Dave Clarke Five. Sandie Shaw tells the story of TOTP, from its roots in an old church in Manchester to its place as a national institution, creating stars, influencing the charts and providing a focus for parental disgust. Producer Wendy Pilmer

SEE FEATURE paga 34

Genome: [r1 Bd=19940102]

Unknown: Jimmy Savile

Unknown: Dave Clarke

Unknown: Sandie Shaw

Producer: Wendy Pilmer