Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Earliest Sound Recording Discovered: It Dates to 1860

This is off-topic but is pretty interesting and has some relationship to film. Thomas Edison's sound recordings date to the late 1870s, about a decade before the invention of film. But it turns out that Frenchman Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville beat him to it: a new discovery puts recorded sound back about two more decades, to April 1860.

The New York Times article on the discovery states that the recording was found earlier this month— a 10-second piece of "Au Clair de la Lune." You can listen to the recording on the Times site or at Wikipedia's Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville page. It's not earth-shattering but worth 10 seconds of your time.

A really cool side note on the Wikipedia's page: "Of further interest, indeed the Holy Grail of archaeophonography, is the recording of Abraham Lincoln's voice supposedly made in Washington D.C. in 1863 using Scott's Phonautograph. It is unclear at present whether this recording was actually made, but a phonautographic tracing of Lincoln's voice was supposedly included among the artifacts kept by Edison."

That would be a find!

No comments: