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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Media > Audio -- Visual

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  #11  
Old 03-29-2008, 12:34 AM
Robert Robert is offline
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Gareth, I'm told that one Chopin Prelude can last the crocs a whole year.
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  #12  
Old 03-29-2008, 12:46 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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According to what I just dredged out of cyberspace, the earliest-known recording of the human voice was 'Au Clair de la Lune' by some French character in or about 1861. His name was Scott de Martinville.

For my part, there were no worthwhile sound recordings whatsoever until Mississippi John Hurt's 1928 sessions, which sound as sharp and fresh today as they did then. And as fiendishly difficult to play.

If Queen Victoria ever made a recording, it would have been something like, "Not tonight, Albert - pleeeese!"

Cheers,

Graham
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  #13  
Old 04-19-2008, 09:28 AM
Notaro Notaro is offline
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There's a couple of 2 disc sets of cds which are pretty interesting which contain many early recordings of historical figures. I picked these up myself and they're well worth a listen.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Voices-Histo...8586233&sr=1-3

All the best,
Notaro
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  #14  
Old 04-19-2008, 11:50 AM
Magpie Magpie is offline
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Apparently the BBC archive has audio recordings of Queen Victoria, Oscar Wilde and Henry Irving in their collection (Not together, of course).
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  #15  
Old 04-19-2008, 07:38 PM
aspallek aspallek is offline
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On a slightly more serious note, the earliest recording of a live musical concert still exists on wax cylinder although it is very very poor condition. It was made in the summer of 1888 at the Handel Festival at Crystal Palace.

Check it out at: http://www.webrarian.co.uk/crystalpalace/

See also: http://cylindersontheweb.angelcities.com/ especially "rare recordings."

I don't know what the earliest recirded voice recording was. I suppose something spoken by Edison in his lab. There is the story that Edison's first live demo recording using his machine was of the inventor reciting "Mary Had a Little Lamb" but I don't think that was preserved.
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  #16  
Old 04-20-2008, 01:39 AM
George Hutchinson George Hutchinson is offline
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Andy - shows how the memory plays tricks. I had always understood that the early recording was made at the Royal Albert Hall, not Crystal Palace, but if it's on a dedicated Crystal Palace page then maybe I'm wrong on this count. The playback quality is not simply the deterioration of the materials, but of the recording methods. Things needed to be close to the microphone to have a decent quality of playback because of the diaphragm that was used as the microphone, so it would never have been very good. I have an extensive collection of pre-electric 78s, and the quality of large ensembles is always very limited in tonal range.

History does indeed claim that Edison was the first to record sound with the MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB nursery rhyme but, like many things, history often lies. Edison is credited with several things that someone else did first.

This story about the recordings made in soot on sheets of paper is still intriguing me. If it's a spoof - why? It's not exactly a clever one, and it didn't happen on April 1st. I just think it's all unlikely but I really want it to be true. I suppose it could easily have been established earlier on that pressure from a diaphragm could possibly record sound but no one had the method of using it. Maybe a modern parallel would be cryogenic suspension?

PHILIP
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  #17  
Old 04-20-2008, 02:34 AM
aspallek aspallek is offline
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Phil --

The recording was indeed at Crystal Palace. The narrative from that website is quite interesting. As far as I know, the Handel festival was always held there. I've always wondered who might have been at that concert in 1888....
Yes, the recording technique was very crude. It amounted to suspending a wax cylinder recording device under the balcony and having someone crawl up there the change the cylinder frequently. But the cylinders are also in very poor condition after 120 years.

As to Edison, the nursery rhyme was recorded in the first public demonstration of his device. I would presume that he had tested it earlier. What was recorded in that earlier test is unknown as far as I know.

There have been unconfirmed theories that bits of pottery dating thousands of years old might have recorded the sound of the potter's wheel as the craftsman was decorating them with a stylus as they were rotating. In theory I suppose possible but highly unlikely as the sound from the wheel would not have been concentrated enough nor the stylus free enough to make an acoustic groove in the pottery.
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  #18  
Old 04-20-2008, 11:14 AM
George Hutchinson George Hutchinson is offline
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Hi Andy

I remember seeing a programme on that final nugget of information. Of course, it is indeed an extremely long-shot. All it might do is pick up pulses and vibrations of the hand rather than record any sound.

I suspect, before the cylinder ran out, that Edison's first recording said "I am Ja-"

PHILIP
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  #19  
Old 04-20-2008, 01:17 PM
Suzi Suzi is offline
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Nice one ! Although I heard that it was...'The Cat d...............'
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  #20  
Old 04-21-2008, 12:36 AM
Steve Thoroughgood Steve Thoroughgood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
Anyone know the earliest surviving spoken word recording?
Chris
I don't know THE earliest, but one of the earliest spoken word recordings made in England was by Sir Arthur Sullivan on 5 October 1888, two days after the opening of The Yeomen of the Guard.

Edison despatched a phonograph to one Colonel Gouraud, his representative in England. The Colonel's assignment was to record the voices of as many famous people as he could.

Sullivan's message was recorded as follows:-

"Dear Mr. Edison,

For myself I can only say that I am astonished and somewhat terrified at the result of this evening's experiment. Astonished at the wonderful form you have developed, and terrified at the thought that so much hideous and bad music will be put on record forever. But all the same, I think it is the most wonderful thing that I have ever experienced and I congratulate you with all my heart on this wonderful discovery.

Arthur Sullivan"

The recording is remarkably clear for its age, and I'll endeavour to upload it here (or somewhere) once I possess the 'know how'. It doesn't appear to exist anywhere on the web at the moment.

Steve
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