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Converting to sound everything from medieval music manuscripts to historic telegrams, and from seventeenth-century barrel organ programmes to eighteenth-century 'notations' of Shakespearean recitation. Including the world’s oldest known 'sound recordings' in the sense of sound vibrations automatically recorded out of the air — the groundbreaking phonautograms recorded in Paris by Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville in the mid-1800s — as well as the oldest gramophone records, like inventor Emile Berliner’s recitation of Der Handschuh, played back from an illustration in a magazine. Other highlights include the oldest known recording of identifiable words spoken in the English language (1878) and the world’s oldest surviving trick recording, from 1889.
Sumptuously presented: a 140-page book full of fascinating images and notes, in a debossed hard cover, ten inches wide, like a photo album, gold-foiled around the edges.
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