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FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible

27 Mar 08 - 03:34 PM (#2298964)
Subject: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Wolfgang

Many years before Edison the French Scott de Martinville worked with success on the recording of sound. Since he was only interested in recording and not in replaying what was recorded, his invention was forgotten. Researchers now have used the recording and found a method to make audible what was recorded.

What we can hear now is 20 years older than the until now oldest known recording. And it is the French folksong Au claire de la lune.

Article with an audio of the oldest folksong recording (The article is in German. You'll have to scroll to find the audio)

Wolfgang


27 Mar 08 - 03:37 PM (#2298967)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Rapparee

Gott in Himmel!

That's amazing.


27 Mar 08 - 03:40 PM (#2298974)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: katlaughing

Incredible...rather eerie sounding.

How did he know he was successful at recording, though, if he didn't want to play it back?


27 Mar 08 - 04:06 PM (#2298990)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: jeffp

That's very cool! Thanks for alerting us to that, Wolfgang.


27 Mar 08 - 04:28 PM (#2299011)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Gulliver

Kat, the article explains that he was a man of the written, rather than spoken, word (he was a printer and proofreader), and influenced by Daguerre's technique of reproducing optical images on paper, he wanted to develop a graphical sound recording, a so-called "phono-autograph", or "sound-photo".

His device was cranked manually, which of course caused variations in the modern reproduction of the sound, but the team got over that by splitting their process into many individual steps.

Don


27 Mar 08 - 04:58 PM (#2299044)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: GUEST,Ken Brock

It is also not generally known that there were experiments with primitive FAX technology (based on the telegraph) before the US Civil War of 1861-65.


27 Mar 08 - 05:10 PM (#2299051)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Art Thieme

Fascinating!

Mr. H., thank you once again.

Art


27 Mar 08 - 05:35 PM (#2299072)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: GUEST,john.feucht

I have seen a phonoautograph of Abraham Lincoln. I wonder if it also is now playable?


27 Mar 08 - 06:19 PM (#2299111)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Big Mick

Wow, is that cool!! To hear a voice from that long ago, and to listen to how the voicing was done......very cool.

All the best,

Mick


27 Mar 08 - 06:53 PM (#2299148)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Gervase

Amazing - it puts up the hairs on the back of the neck to hear a voice from a time when my grandfather's grandfather was around, and from when otherwise all we have are black-letter broadsheets and the written word. Its fuzziness and tantalising inaudibility make it all the more fascinating, like a vision only half glimpsed out of the corner of the eye. Thanks for that bit of time travel, Wolfgang.


27 Mar 08 - 07:59 PM (#2299209)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: katlaughing

Thanks, Don, that makes it even more amazing!


28 Mar 08 - 02:55 AM (#2299367)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Escapee

Wow. It's like hearing a ghost. Thanks for sharing it with us.
SKP


28 Mar 08 - 03:46 AM (#2299377)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: mark gregory

Au Clair de la Lune--French folk song (1860 Phonautogram)

The audio excavation could give a new primacy to the phonautograph, once considered a curio, and its inventor, Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, a Parisian typesetter and tinkerer who went to his grave convinced that credit for his breakthroughs had been improperly bestowed on Edison.

Scott’s device had a barrel-shaped horn attached to a stylus, which etched sound waves onto sheets of paper blackened by smoke from an oil lamp. The recordings were not intended for listening; the idea of audio playback had not been conceived. Rather, Scott sought to create a paper record of human speech that could later be deciphered.

Scott recorded someone singing an excerpt from the French folksong "Au Clair de la Lune" on April 9, 1860, and deposited the results with the Académie des Sciences in 1861. The existence of a tuning-fork calibration trace allows us to compensate for the irregular recording speed of the hand-cranked cylinder. The sheet contains the beginning line of the second verse-"Au clair de la lune, Pierrot répondit"-and is the earliest audibly recognizable record of the human voice yet recovered.


listen to mp3


28 Mar 08 - 04:46 AM (#2299395)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Old Grizzly

This is in fact an early April the first Joke.

In truth, it is a Public Service Announcement recorded at Victoria Station a couple of weeks back. ;O)

Dave


28 Mar 08 - 06:39 AM (#2299438)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Llanfair

It was on radio 4 today programme this morning and caused Charlotte Green to have a fit of the giggles.

What is the beeb coming to!!!


28 Mar 08 - 07:37 AM (#2299455)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: McGrath of Harlow

"...caused Charlotte Green to have a fit of the giggles.
How very peculiar.


28 Mar 08 - 07:50 AM (#2299461)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: John MacKenzie

Apparently one of her colleagues said, 'It sounds like a bee buzzing in a bottle', that was what caused her to 'corpse' on air.
Link here under picture of Charlotte.

G


28 Mar 08 - 08:13 AM (#2299468)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: SINSULL

I played it aloud in the office and it really freaked people out. Something strange about the sound but also the fact that it was a voice from so long ago.
Thanks for sharing, Wolfgang


28 Mar 08 - 01:26 PM (#2299694)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Wolfgang

This recording has evoked the same emotions in you as in me. If anyone finds a longer version I'd love to hear it.

English language article about it

Wolfgang


28 Mar 08 - 01:29 PM (#2299700)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Wolfgang

NYT article

Wolfgang


28 Mar 08 - 01:39 PM (#2299716)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice

'caused Charlotte Green to have a fit of the giggles.
How very peculiar'

I had the same reaction

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


28 Mar 08 - 02:41 PM (#2299786)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Bonnie Shaljean

Yes but I bet you weren't reading out an obituary at the time!

Thanks for posting this, Wolfgang - it is SOOOOOOO neat


28 Mar 08 - 05:00 PM (#2299915)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

One of my compatriots compared it to a squadron of water bugs farting in unison in a shallow tin plate. Whatever it was, it may add to the mounting evidence that Edison was even better at self-promotion and adaptation than at actual invention.


28 Mar 08 - 05:13 PM (#2299924)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Bonnie Shaljean

He was obviously better at self-promotion than Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville was.


28 Mar 08 - 06:45 PM (#2299988)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Thompson

At some stage it will undoubtedly be photoshopped and appear as a normal recording.


29 Mar 08 - 05:22 PM (#2300602)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Jack Blandiver

So that's what Charlotte Green looks like; another of life's little illusions shattered!

Choice stuff on both counts though; Au Clare de la Lune & Charlotte cracking up on air - my day, as they say, is made. Thanks to all concerned.


29 Mar 08 - 05:41 PM (#2300621)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Gene Burton

Just listened. That's quite...something else. A remarkable achievement both on the part of de Martinville and whoever worked on making the recording playable. Thanks for putting that out, Wolfgang.


30 Mar 08 - 12:47 PM (#2301155)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: McGrath of Harlow

'It sounds like a bee buzzing in a bottle'

Well, I suppose anyone might have a fit of the giggles at such a hilarious comment...


30 Mar 08 - 12:50 PM (#2301160)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Bonnie Shaljean

Yeah, and that death announcement. A real scream.


30 Mar 08 - 03:29 PM (#2301299)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Herga Kitty

Bonnie - no it wasn't, and the BBC have tried to distinguish between the reasons for Charlotte's corpsing and the item she was trying to read out at the time.

Kitty


30 Mar 08 - 03:41 PM (#2301317)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: frogprince

Some of my favorite lp's from about 1960 sound about like that now...


30 Mar 08 - 03:48 PM (#2301322)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Bonnie Shaljean

I was joking, Kitty!


30 Mar 08 - 04:41 PM (#2301379)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Herga Kitty

Yes, Bonnie, but just in case there's anyone litigious out there...!

Matthew Parris played Charlotte's Today corpsing item on Pick of the Week today, too! (along with the disparaging comment about the ghastliness of folk music....)

Kitty


31 Mar 08 - 11:52 AM (#2302092)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Gulliver

Is anyone familiar with the story that was going the rounds that scientists had managed to reproduce ancient Roman sounds from pottery? They allegedly picked up the background noise from a pottery from the grooves in the pots that were fashioned by hand on the potter's wheel.

Turns out it was an urban myth.

Don


31 Mar 08 - 11:54 AM (#2302094)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Bonnie Shaljean

Love to see the Monty Python team get their hands on that one!


31 Mar 08 - 03:25 PM (#2302341)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: autolycus

frogprince,

you can clean your LPs and get rid of an amazing amount of the crackle.

There was a thread about it recently -

I've been going to sleep recently -= WAIT for the punchline,q - to one of a couple of Blooper tapes put out by the british Wireless for the Blind Fund.

they have much esteeemed corpsing


Ivor


31 Mar 08 - 06:53 PM (#2302605)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: terrier

Gulliver wrote:
...Is anyone familiar with the story that was going the rounds that scientists had managed to reproduce ancient Roman sounds from pottery? They allegedly picked up the background noise from a pottery from the grooves in the pots that were fashioned by hand on the potter's wheel...

A couple of years ago, there was a news item where scientists working with audio production extracted a couple of words from the Turin Shroud! They didn't say what the words were.


01 Apr 08 - 06:37 AM (#2303055)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Captain Ginger

"Sciocco D'Aprile", I imagine!


01 Apr 08 - 12:44 PM (#2303395)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine

How lo-fi can you go?

Surely only a matter of time before someone invents a plugin that can make any audio sound like that.


02 Apr 08 - 12:55 AM (#2304198)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: johnross

I was at the ARSC conference where the presentation was made. The members of the team described both the original process and the recovery in detail, and they played both the version that was distributed around the world and the same recording with some modern noise reduction and filtering. The cleaned-up version was even more impressive as a window to a long-ago time and place.

Quite an amazing accomplishment.


02 Apr 08 - 05:04 AM (#2304276)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Bonnie Shaljean

It would be fascinating to hear the cleaned-up one. Does anyone know if it's online anywhere?


03 Apr 08 - 01:48 AM (#2305181)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: autolycus

I'm sorry to discover that we haven't been given the improved version.
Very.

   Ivor


03 Apr 08 - 02:07 PM (#2305677)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

Does our audio/computer capability know no bounds? The Shroud of Turin, ancient pottery shards - what's next? I expect we will soon hear of vocal emanations captured from striations on meteorites. Now THAT would be noteworthy.


05 Apr 08 - 12:40 PM (#2307539)
Subject: RE: FolksongRecording from 1860 made audible
From: Gulliver

No, I think it's our imagination and sense of humour that knows no bounds.

Don