Sunday, November 20, 2005

The first commercially produced sound recordings are Online

Cylinder recordings are the first commercially produced sound recordings and are a snapshot of musical and popular culture in the decades around the turn of the 20th century.

The Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project under The Department of Special Collections at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) Davidson Library has recently placed online amazing collection of over 5000 Cylinder recordings from the late 1800s and early 1900s, all transferred from Edison cylinders. The restored recordings are in 'MP3' format while the unrestored digitization's available in large 'WAV' files format. They can be freely downloaded or streamed online.
On this site you will have the opportunity to find out more about the cylinder format, listen to thousands of musical and spoken selections from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and discover a little-known era of recorded sound. Click the search button to begin, or sample some of our favorite selections in the Featured Cylinder section. Browse the collection. Listen to a 1902 track by Geroge W. Johnson, the first African-American phonograph star, and one from 1914 by Henry Burr, the biggest Canadian star of the era or try dance-type jazz, like 1920's 'Peggy' by Lopez and Hamilton's Kings of Harmony Orchestra........

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