Music Minus One
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Music Minus One (commonly abbreviated as MMO) is a music production and recording company in Westchester, New York. Their recordings are meant to be accompanied by the listener on whichever instrument (or voice type) is excluded from the recording, as an aid to practice, or as an accompaniment to home performance. The technique is the same as the later development of karaoke for the voice.
Music Minus One was begun in 1950, by Irv Kratka, a 24-year-old college student. The company's first recording was devoted to Schubert’s Trout Quintet, with all five instruments omitted in five different MMO’s. This release received a full page review in The New York Times. As a result, articles appeared in Look, Life, Time, Newsweek, and hundreds of papers across the USA and Europe.
In the following years, the company continued to release chamber music and jazz rhythm recordings utilizing the best of New York’s players at the time, many of whom are legends in music. Such names as Stan Getz, Hank Jones, Max Roach, Sam Baron, Julius Baker, Murray Panitz, Doriot Dwyer, Elaine Douvas, Donald Peck, Armando Ghitalla, Stanley Drucker, and countless other first chair players in the five major American orchestras were prevailed upon to add their skills to MMO recordings.
Today, 61 years after Music Minus One's inception, MMO offers close to nine hundred albums, devoted to classical, chamber music, opera, lieder, popular, jazz and religious music from all times and periods, from the Baroque, thru the Romantic and Classical periods in music.
- Music Minus One is still headed today by Irv Kratka, its founder.
- Each of the company's editions today are examples of musical scholarship featuring music printed on acid-free papers designed to outlast the lives of its owners.
- A release features an eleven CD set offering the complete Beethoven 10 Sonata for violin and piano.
- Testifying to the company's approach to repertoire, the same period in 2008 saw the release of a Bix Beiderbecke play-along by trumpeter Peter Ecklund and a set devoted to the Count Basie band intended for beginning and intermediate brass players.
- Music Minus One official website
- UK Distributors of Music Minus One
- NAMM Oral History Interview Irv Kratka reflects on the development of Music Minus One and the musicians on the recordings, September 13, 2005
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