Cylinder Recordings

I’ve heard my share of recordings transcribed from the old cylinder recording process.  They’re usually pretty scratchy sounding like distant voices from the past. 

Yet some of this material is fascinating to me.  I’m surre I’ll find time to check out some of the old sounds ready to hear at various websites, especially the University of California, Santa Barbara stuff.  It looks like they have quite a bit.

You have to be a real “music nut” to get into this I think.  Sometimes I’ll hear a few things that sound just ok before I hear something funny, odd or surprising.  Like much of exploring popular culture, it’s like panning for gold.

Sometimes the patina of time-passed produces it’s own charms.

I’ve heard of modern day performers recording stuff on cylinders, interesting.

a source for early recordings on CD:

The history of cylinder recording on Wikopedia:

wax cylinder recording fans:

Walt Whitman’s voice?

from The Department of Special Collections of the library of the University of California, Santa Barbara:


2 Responses to “Cylinder Recordings”

  1. Don Handy (Mud) Says:

    There was an article about a local, Detroit-area, collector of these wax cylinders, in a Sunday edition of the joint scab papers, relatively recently. He has released some CDs culled from this material. I think the only examples I’ve heard were at Greenfield Village, in Edison’s old workshop.

  2. Jim Hermanson Says:

    You can also read my comprehensive blogpiece about the controversial history of the Walt Whitman Edison recording at The Red Wheelbarrow, here:

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