wooferhound writes "Sophisticated synthesizers and computer-manipulated recordings are increasingly taking over orchestras. Sounding almost like real players, while costing much less, they're especially popular with provincial or touring companies. But until mid-July — when 'West Side Story's' producers announced that a synthesizer was replacing three live violinists and two cellists, or half the orchestra's string section — staff violinist Paul Woodiel thought that at least the classics would be immune to the trend. There are computer programs able to read and play back music scores — a boon to composers who can now hear their work as they write — and software allowing conductors to control the tempo of the machine, in the same way that they direct live players."
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