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The story of sound recording

Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason tells the story of how we first captured sound, giving birth to a global recording industry.

Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason tells the story of how we first captured sound, giving birth to a global recording industry.

While music has advanced in its complexity over the millennia, the means of recording it remained the same: it had to be written down.

It took until the back-half of the 19th Century before credible attempts were made to bottle sound for the first time, and in 1877 Thomas Edison produced the Phonograph.

Over the next century, major advances were made in recording formats, recording duration, and sound quality, from the Gramophone record to the cassette tape to the compact disc.

But as this programme reveals, cost and convenience played a major role in this progress, rather than the quality of technology - sometimes the best inventions didn't win out.

The series is produced in association with the Open University.

CONTRIBUTORS

Prof Mark Katz, University of North Carolina

Richard Osborne, Middlesex University

Nick Morgan, writer on music history

Sophie Maisonneuve, Université Paris Descartes

Prof Andre Millard, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Sean Williams, The Open University

Greg Milner, author of Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music

(Photo: A gramophone record player. Credit: Getty)

7 days left to listen

53 minutes

Last on

Sun 28 Apr 2019 21:06GMT

Broadcasts

  • Sat 27 Apr 2019 11:06GMT
  • Sun 28 Apr 2019 19:06GMT
  • Sun 28 Apr 2019 21:06GMT

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Nick Mason speaks to The Open University about Pink Floyd’s unique musical innovations.