Criteria of Documentation

There are quite a number of criteria of documentation that we have to keep in mind when looking at a recording. The worth of a recording may lie in its singular and unrepeatable character (for instance a concert with a famous artist, the speech of a public personality in a special situation, or a live recording from the first landing on the moon). Or it may lie in the content, which characterizes a special problem or situation (for example, an interview about the problems of the unemployed). In this case the topic of the recording is of importance. At the same time the structural criteria have to be taken into consideration, for example, the formal and artistic quality of a recording itself (the new recording techniques like quadrophonic or artificial head stereo sound, artificial recording techniques - like a radio play production using the collage technique, or certain pieces of contemporary music, which sometimes can only be performed through the technical means of the radio for which they were composed). These two fields-content and form-can easily overlap. An example might be the BBC radio speeches of Thomas Mann during the war, addressed to German listeners, or a concert with famous artists, which is broadcast on United Nations Day. Generally we can say that the more of these criteria which are to be found on a recording, the more this recording is worth documenting.