Watch Soundbreaking Videos:
Soundbreaking is an eight-part series on the art and evolution of music recording.
Questlove: Rappers Delight Was a War of the Worlds Moment
The Elevated Musical Consciousness of The Beach Boys
The Recording Studio As A New Tool of Black Empowerment
An Experiment, A “One Off”: Nirvana on MTV Unplugged
The Era of Private Music Listening
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Soundbreaking returns! Catch an encore broadcast starting January 30, 2018 on Nine PBS.
The Recording Artist
Tuesday, January 30 at 10:00 p.m.
Explore the role of the music producer tasked with turning an artist’s vision into a hit. Episode 1 profiles the contrasting styles of some of the most accomplished producers; featuring George Martin, Sam Phillips, Tom Petty, Dr. Dre and more.
Painting with Sound
Tuesday, February 6 at 10:00 p.m.
Learn how the recording studio itself became an instrument. From the advent of magnetic tape, Episode 2 charts the evolution of multi-track recording and the ingenuity of artists such as The Beatles, the Beach Boys, Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac.
The Human Instrument
Wednesday, February 7 at 10:00 p.m.
Celebrate the most essential part of a song and the most challenging to capture ––the vocal track. Episode 3 considers the ineffable emotional quality that makes a vocal track truly great; with Adele, Amy Winehouse, and Christina Aguilera.
Tuesday, February 13 at 10:00 p.m.
From the invention of the electric guitar to synthesized music, learn how innovators used electricity to unleash new and never-before-heard sounds. Hour 4 reveals the power of technology to continuously redefine music, from Delta blues to The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder and Devo.
Four on the Floor
Wednesday, February 14 at 10:00 p.m.
Chart the progression of the beat from drum and bass to beat box and beyond––from Little Richard and James Brown to disco with the Bee Gees, EDM and Beyoncé. Witness the endless experimentation that transformed the bedrock of all music.
The World is Yours
Tuesday, February 20 at 10:00 p.m.
Meet the pioneers of hip hop and explore how sampling, the practice of borrowing fragments from existing records, created a new genre of music that took over the world, including Public Enemy, Run DMC, The Beastie Boys, Beck and more.
Sound and Vision
Wednesday, February 21 at 10:00 p.m.
Trace the rise of MTV and explore how the music video transformed the way we experience music––from David Bowie, Devo and Madonna to the Eurythmics and Nirvana. Learn how a one-time marketing tool became an art form, as well as a powerful mediator between artist and audience.
I Am My Music
Tuesday, February 27 at 10:00 p.m.
From the LP to the cassette tape, the CD, and MP3, discover how the listening format of each generation determines not only how and where we listen, but also the manner in which we collect, store, and share the music we love; featuring Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan and The Grateful Dead.