From the cylinder to the download, the practice of music has been radically transformed by the development of recording and playback technologies. This Companion provides a detailed overview of the transformation, encompassing both classical and popular music. Topics covered include the history of recording technology and the businesses built on it; the impact of recording on performance styles; studio practices, viewed from the perspectives of performer, producer and engineer; and approaches to the study of recordings. The main chapters are interspersed by 'short takes' - short contributions by different practitioners, ranging from classical or pop producers and performers to record collectors. Combining basic information with a variety of perspectives on records and recordings, this book will appeal not only to students in a range of subjects from music to the media, but also to general readers interested in a fundamental yet insufficiently understood dimension of musical culture.