About the Series

Soundbreaking is an eight-part series on the art and evolution of music recording.

Premiere Date: November 2016

Music has been a constant in human history, an intermingling of voice and instrument that for all its local variation and increasing sophistication nevertheless endured in more or less the same form for centuries. Then came recording––and music was forever transformed. Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting-Edge of Recorded Music, is an eight-part event television series that traces this ongoing sonic revolution and explores the nexus of technology and human artistry that has created the soundtrack of our lives. 

Featuring more than 150 original interviews with some of the most celebrated recording artists, producers, and music industry pioneers of all time, Soundbreaking charts a century's worth of innovation and experimentation, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the birth of brand new sounds. From the Beatles’ groundbreaking use of multi-track technology to the synthesized stylings of Stevie Wonder, from disco-era drum machines to the modern art of sampling, the series highlights the dynamic tension between the artificial and the natural––between the man-made and the god-given––and explores the way in which that tension has continuously redefined not only what we listen to and how we listen to it, but our very sense of what music is and can be.

In the end, Soundbreaking makes us hear the songs we love in a whole new way, and illuminates the sonic alchemy by which the music we listen to becomes a fundamental part of who we are.

Additional Photo Credits

Additional archival credits not seen on-screen at end of episodes.

Q&A with Legendary Musician and Producer Don Was

WDET 101.9FM's Ann Delisi interviews Don Was, discussing his career and involvement in the new PBS series Soundbreaking.

Posted by Detroit Public Television on Monday, October 24, 2016

Explore More

Elements of Soundbreaking

Elements of Soundbreaking

Take a look at just a sample of the artists and technology featured in the show.

The Music of Soundbreaking

The Music of Soundbreaking

Listen to songs featured in each episode with our Spotify playlists.

Q&A | How the Series was Made

Q&A | How the Series was Made

From THIRTEEN | Find out how the series got access to so many legendary artists.

| Soundbreaking: Stories From the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music
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Soundbreaking: Stories From the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music

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