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date: 27 October 2020

Recorded soundlocked

  • Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume,
  • Jerome F. Weber,
  • John Borwick
  •  and D.E.L. Shorter


This article is concerned with historical and technical aspects of the means for recording, reproducing and transmitting sound. The material covered in the first section includes, first, a history of recorded sound from mechanical to electrical means; secondly, a history of the various media and technologies used in recording; and lastly, a historical overview of the recording industry. The material covered in the second section includes, first, the conversion of sound into usable electrical energy by microphones; secondly, the employment of microphones and other apparatus in recording and broadcasting studios; thirdly, the recording of sound on disc, tape and film; fourthly, the transmission of sound by radio broadcasting; and lastly, the reproduction of sound through amplifiers and loudspeakers. For the history of music in radio and the influence of radio on musical life, see Radio.

Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume

The earliest attempts to obtain a permanent record of extempore performance were in the form of ‘notating devices’, normally attached to the action of a keyboard instrument. Apparently the first such machine was proposed in England by J. Creed, who wrote a ‘Demonstration of the Possibility of making a machine that shall write Extempore Voluntaries or other Pieces of Music as fast as any master shall be able to play them upon an Organ, Harpsichord, etc.’, published posthumously by the Royal Society in ...

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The English Madrigal School, rev. as The English Madrigalists
G. Grove, ed.: A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1878, 1880, 1883, 1899)