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In other words:

   theater : performance ::  
      film : screening ::  
audio tape : ??

It doesn't happen very often, but in exceptional circumstances there exist audio recordings that are rare and important enough to present on their own. Is "presentation" the most appropriate word to use in this case, or is there one more specific to audio tape?

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I keep thinking that by rights, you should be able to somehow use reproduction since playing a recording is reproducing music in a sense. Can't get it to sound right though. –  terdon Jun 5 '13 at 2:53
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I'd say simply "audition." –  rhetorician Jun 5 '13 at 3:03
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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Audition is usually thought of as a trial performance of an actor, dancer, or musician. But its root derivation is from the verb to hear.

I agree with the comment of @rhetorician. You audition a tape or attend a digital audio file's audition.

movie : screening :: audio tape :: audition
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Aha, great! Audition is actually commonly used to refer to listening to small audio samples, or the testing of different microphones, but I think you're right about it being the best fit in this context as well. –  NReilingh Jun 5 '13 at 19:03
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Interesting question! The only contexts I can think of are album launches or audiophile 'listening parties' and the like, at which a recording might be described as being 'played in full' or similar. Having said that, I agree with @terdon that 'playing' does not really work.

If you really need a noun then I don't think you could improve on 'presentation' although this is not audio-specific. You could possibly get away with 'airing' or even 'broadcast', although the latter suggests the use of radio technology rather than live performance.

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Off the top of my head I would say playing since we play recordings. Something like this would work:

John Lennon's Lost Recording will be played at 19:00 in the Abbey Road theater.

You can't really say "I went to a playing" the way you could "I went to a screening" but you can work around that, for example:

I went to a playing of a beautiful recording.

As long as it is clear that you are referring to a recording, I think that playing is perfectly good.

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