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From Edison to Marconi: The First Thirty Years of Recorded Music
     

From Edison to Marconi: The First Thirty Years of Recorded Music

by David J. Steffen
 

ISBN-10: 0786420618

ISBN-13: 9780786420612

Pub. Date: 06/10/2005

Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers

Like any profound technological breakthrough, the advent of sound recording ushered in a period of explosive and imaginative experimentation, growth and competition. Between the commercial debut of Edison’s “talking machine” in 1889 and the first commercial radio broadcast three decades later, the recording industry was uncharted territory in

Overview

Like any profound technological breakthrough, the advent of sound recording ushered in a period of explosive and imaginative experimentation, growth and competition. Between the commercial debut of Edison’s “talking machine” in 1889 and the first commercial radio broadcast three decades later, the recording industry was uncharted territory in terms of both technology and content.
This history of the earliest years of sound recording—the time between the phonograph’s appearance and the licensing of commercial radio—examines a newly created technology and industry in search of itself. It follows the story from the earliest efforts to capture sound, to the fight among wire, cylinder and disk recordings for primacy in the market, to the growth and development of musical genres, record companies and business practices that remain current today. The work chronicles the people, events and developments that turned a novel, expensive idea into a highly marketable commodity. Two appendices provide extensive lists of popular genre and ethnic recordings made between 1889 and 1919. A bibliography and index accompany the text.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786420612
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
06/10/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
255
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.51(d)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Preface 1

Introduction 7

1. The Ancients and the Jukebox Phenomenon 15

2. Inventing the Music Industry 20

3. Edison’s Invention 23

4. Cylinders, Discs, and Vision 26

5. A Consumer Business or a Business Technology? 31

6. “A&R”: Artists and Repertoire 35

7. Speaking of Money, and the Jukebox 42

8. Toward Mass Production 48

9. Recording and Recordings 52

10. Sound, Quality, and Topicality 59

11. A Popular Product and a Consumer Market 66

12. A&R in the Early Years—Styles and Genres 73

13. Of Places, Performers, and Songs 75

14. Type, Style, Genre, Tempo 84

15. Most of the Music 92

16. Immigration and Recordings 109

17. Culture Swing—The Ethnic Recordings 125

18. Images, Music, and the Inevitable Transition 159

19. The Caruso Effect 165

20. Enter Marconi 174

Appendix 1. Recordings in Popular Non-Ethnic Genres, 1889–1919 179

Appendix 2. Ethnic Recordings, 1889–1919 185

Notes 217

Bibliography 229

Index 238

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