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Since the invention of the phonograph in 1877, the recording and playback of sound has been a key element of life in the western world. This free course, Revolutions in sound recording, traces the technology and characters of the sound recording industry as it advances from Edison's original phonograph to the formats we know today.
By the end of this free course you should be able to:
- explain correctly the meanings of the emboldened terms in the main text and use them correctly in context;
- give a brief account of the history of the record industry;
- describe the methods used for storing analogue audio recordings introduced in the main text, highlighting their technological aspects;
- make informed judgements as to the quality of a sound recording through analysis of the audio signal.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- Revolutions in sound recording
- 1 Capturing sound
- 2 Cylinders or plates?
- 3 Sounds from magnets
- 4 Unit summary
- Keep on learning
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Revolutions in sound recording
This unit looks at the ways in which technology has influenced the music industry and how this has changed the way we listen to music and buy records. It is a brief history of the recording industry from its beginnings at the end of the nineteenth century. Step changes in technology will be highlighted in a story that often is as much about the people who built the industry and the recordings they made as about the technologies that were developed and used.
Please note that Activity 1 is optional and requires additional materials and software.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Technology courses or view the range of currently available OU Technology courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 31st July 2008
Last updated on: Thursday, 13th September 2012
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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