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"The Tech Rep", by James Michener; Continued:

"What kind of music do they play on their super machines? A surprising number played only classical music, with Vivaldi and Mozart the favorites. Others preferred ultra-sweet waltzes from the period when they were first courting, and these men would often sit staring into space as they recalled love affairs and marriages that had begun so marvelously only to end in such hell. The majority, however, had large collections of those anonymous records which filled the catalogues; MUSIC FOR A RAINY DAY, MUSIC FOR HOURS BEFORE DAWN. I remember one man in Greece who had BING CROSBY'S GREATIST HITS, Volume l. He also had greatest hits by twenty-nine other singers, most of whom I had never heard of.

Regardless of what style of music the individual tech rep preferred, you could be certain he would have in his collection a healthy sampling of those made by Enoch Light. I understand that Light is not too well known in the United States, but overseas he is a hero, for he has made a series of records intended for men like the tech reps. These records feature the best popular songs, from way back when, like WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED LOVE? and TEA FRO TWO, played so that you can hear the melody, but with instruments of the orchestra separated to an exaggerated degree. I have sat for hours in remote outposts in Sumatra or Turkey as some tech played his Enoch Light records: I WANT YOU TO LISTEN TO THE WAY THAT RASP COMES IN A HALF OF NOTE HIGHER ON THE LEFT CHANNEL. If I were writing an opera about the tech reps, I would ask Enoch Light to score the music. and I would provide for things like kettle drums, bongos, and flutes, some on the extreme left-side of the orchestra, others on the extreme right, and never would any sound come from the middle. That would be true tech rep music."

To be continued:

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