Soundbreaking

Premiered November 2016

The eight-part series explores the art of music recording, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the birth of brand new sounds. Featuring more than 160 original interviews with some of the most celebrated recording artists of all time, Soundbreaking explores the nexus of cutting-edge technology and human artistry that has created the soundtrack of our lives.

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Providing Support for PBS.org

Clips 16

Video thumbnail: Soundbreaking The Era of Private Music Listening

Soundbreaking

The Era of Private Music Listening

Engineer Bob Ludwig traces the rise of the cassette tape.

2:59

The Era of Private Music Listening

2:59

Video thumbnail: Soundbreaking The Record Wars and Rock and Roll

Soundbreaking

The Record Wars and Rock and Roll

Steven Van Zandt traces the birth of the single and the LP.

3:20

The Record Wars and Rock and Roll

3:20

Video thumbnail: Soundbreaking An Experiment, A “One Off”: Nirvana on MTV Unplugged

Soundbreaking

An Experiment, A “One Off”: Nirvana on MTV Unplugged

Producer Scott Litt and Dave Grohl explore MTV Unplugged.

3:13

An Experiment, A “One Off”: Nirvana on MTV Unplugged

3:13

Video thumbnail: Soundbreaking Jimmy Jam: MTV Was White Rock Music Television

Soundbreaking

Jimmy Jam: MTV Was White Rock Music Television

At launch, black artists found themselves excluded from MTV.

3:15

Jimmy Jam: MTV Was White Rock Music Television

3:15

Video thumbnail: Soundbreaking Questlove: Rappers Delight Was a War of the Worlds Moment

Soundbreaking

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."

4:31

Questlove: Rappers Delight Was a War of the Worlds Moment

4:31

Video thumbnail: Soundbreaking The Holy Trinity of Hip Hop and Rap Music Was Three DJs

Soundbreaking

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.

1:22

The Holy Trinity of Hip Hop and Rap Music Was Three DJs

1:22

Video thumbnail: Soundbreaking Nile Rodgers: The Crowd Where The Music Never Stops

Soundbreaking

Nile Rodgers: The Crowd Where The Music Never Stops

Nile Rodgers takes us from the hippies of Greenwich Village to Disco and Dance music.

2:18

Nile Rodgers: The Crowd Where The Music Never Stops

2:18

Video thumbnail: Soundbreaking The Power of Gospel’s Frenzied Rhythm

Soundbreaking

The Power of Gospel’s Frenzied Rhythm

The pounding rhythm at the core of Gospel is the foundation of rock and roll music.

2:17

The Power of Gospel’s Frenzied Rhythm

2:17

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Previews 9

Video thumbnail: Soundbreaking Next on Episode 8

Soundbreaking

Next on Episode 8

“I Am My Music” explores how formats, from the LP to mp3s, have shaped our musical lives.

0:30

Next on Episode 8

0:30

Video thumbnail: Soundbreaking Next on Episode 7

Soundbreaking

Next on Episode 7

“Sound and Vision” follows the rise of MTV and how video overhauled the industry.

0:30

Next on Episode 7

0:30

Video thumbnail: Soundbreaking Next on Episode 6

Soundbreaking

Next on Episode 6

"The World is Yours" looks at the art of sampling and the musical revolution it inspired.

0:30

Next on Episode 6

0:30

Video thumbnail: Soundbreaking Next on Episode 5

Soundbreaking

Next on Episode 5

“Four on the Floor” gives a look at rhythm in music, the pulse that stirs our senses.

0:30

Next on Episode 5

0:30

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