Synching Music At The Inauguration
(Soundbite of music)
SCOTT SIMON, host:
Yo-Yo Ma and friends played "Air and Simple Gifts" at President Obama's inauguration, sort of. Inauguration officials worried that Tuesday's frigid temperatures could snap piano and cello strings. So as the classical quartet went through the motions, an official played a recording the musicians had made two days earlier. This string synching is actually what millions of people heard on the mall and around the world.
A broken string was just not an option, Yo-Yo Ma told the New York Times. It could have been a disaster if we had done it any other way, Itzhak Perlman added. This isn't a matter of Milli Vanilli, said an inauguration official, speaking of the old pop group that lost a Grammy after it was revealed that they had merely lip-synced their songs. But the U.S. Marine Corps band played live. Imagine how the Army, in fact the Russian Army would kid them if the Marines had said it was too cold to play. But if Chief Justice John Roberts had prerecorded the oath of office, he wouldn't have had to do it the second time.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.