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In 1948, seeking to improve the quality of his radio show without the sacrifice of links time a live broadcast would necessitate, Bing Crosby sank a small fortune into producing a commercial version of technology improved in the crucible of the war, and the professional magnetic tape recorder was born. To celebrate its quinquagenary, National Musical Arts, the chamber ensemble in residence at the National Academy of Science, will present a program of four pieces that use magnetic tape, including the first performance since its premiere of Edgar Varèse’s Poème Électronique. Commissioned by Le Corbusier as part of the pavilion he designed to represent the Philips Radio Corporation at the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958, Varése’s 480-second piece of “organized sound” played continuously through 400 loudspeakers carefully placed throughout the building and was accompanied by colored lights and projected images (seen today on videotape). Also on the bill are compositions by Margaret Brouwer and Ingram Marshall, as well as a piece that includes humpback whale songs. At 4 p.m. at the National Academy of Sciences Auditorium, 2101 Constitution Ave. NW. Free. (202) 334-2436. (Daniel Searing)