With Thomas Edison's invention of the phonograph, the beautiful music which was the preserve of the wealthy became a mass-produced consumer good - a sound recording - cheap enough to be available to all. In 1877 Edison dreamed that one day there would be a talking machine in every home, but even his legendary vision could not have foreseen the way that recorded sound would pervade modern life. America on Record provides a history of sound recording, from the first thin sheet of tinfoil that was manipulated into retaining sound to the home recordings of rappers in the 1980s and the high tech digital studios of the 1990s. This volume examines the important technical developments, including acoustic, electronic and digital reproduction, cylinder, 78rpm disc, 45 rpm microgroove single and compact disc, while outlining the cultural impact of recorded music and movies. It describes jazz, blues, swing, rock, rap, and film dialogue against the business and technological background of sound recording.
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