Per Dahl – paper 2007

Presented at the Grieg Conference in Bergen May 31, 2007

Per Dahl, Norway
Professor, Department of Music and Dance
University of Stavanger

Grieg’s opus 5 no 3 Jeg elsker Dig! in the Gramophone Era
A short introduction to the recording of music
In his novel “L’histoire comique des états et empires de la Lune” Savien Cyrano de Bergerac (1619-1655) wrote that the people on the Moon had some small boxes with some wheels, shrews and a sheet (membrane) and by using a needle they could listen to music. No one tried to build this box, after all the description was in a novel! But 220 years later Thomas Alva Edison made the first phonograph using materials that existed in Bergerac’s time. In an article in June 1878 Edison listed ten different activities in which his new invention could be used, music reproduction being just number four on the list. Edison was most interested in developing his machine as a Dictaphone (it could reproduce speech in any language!) and kept the cylinder as sound carrier long after Emil Berliner’s patent of the gramophone record in 1887 and Berliner/Johnson’s change to shellac in 1895.

Download the whole paper here
Per Dahl paper 2007

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