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Off the RecordPerforming Practices in Romantic Piano Playing$
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Neal Peres da Costa

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195386912

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195386912.001.0001

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Early Recordings

Early Recordings

Their Value as Evidence

(p.3) 1 Early Recordings
Off the Record

Neal Peres Da Costa

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the history of sound recording. It covers early acoustic recording machines and techniques including the phonograph, the graphophone, and the gramophone and discusses the differences between wax disc and wax cylinder recording. It also covers the invention of microphones and the dawn of electrical recording. The chapter looks also at the other important means of preserving the artistry of pianists through the process of roll recording and playback using the reproducing player piano system. The main systems (Welte-Mignon, Duo-Art, and Ampico) and their differences are discussed. The limitations of these various types of recording are debated and conclusions about the information that may be safely extrapolated are put forward.

Keywords:   acoustic recording, phonograph, graphophone, gramophone, wax disc, wax cylinder, microphone, electrical recording, roll recording, reproducing player piano

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