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Revolutions in sound recording

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Audio Audio Activity Activity

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.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 12 hours
  • Updated Thursday 13th September 2012
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Technology
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Revolutions in sound recording


Unit image

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.

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