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ARSCLIST  June 2009

ARSCLIST June 2009

Subject:

Re: Fwd: Recording Speed

From:

"Steven C. Barr" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 19 Jun 2009 00:11:56 -0400

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text/plain

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text/plain (42 lines)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Thornton Hagert" <[log in to unmask]>
> Begin forwarded message:
>> From: Thornton Hagert <[log in to unmask]>
>> Date: June 17, 2009 12:01:21 PM EDT
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Cc: Annie Stanfield-Hagert <[log in to unmask]>, Lawrence Gushee
>> <[log in to unmask]>, David Sager <[log in to unmask]>
>> Subject: Recording Speed
>>
>> In response to Dave Lewis' recent message "I Heard the Voice of the
>> Chipmunk" - about recording speeds, I have noticed instances of
>> recording companies deliberately recording at other-than-playback
>> speeds, for various reasons. The following examples come to mind;
>> if I check them more carefully, this message will never be written.
>> Edison 51056, Broadway Dance Orchestra "Russian Rose", plays
>> back in the key of F but was clearly performed in Eb and recorded
>> "slowly". See my notes for the Smithsonian album DMM2-0518, "An
>> Experiment In Modern Music" Paul Whiteman at Aeolian Hall. How
>> often did Edison do this ?
>> Okeh 40675, Cookie's Gingersnaps, "Love Found You for Me"
>> plays back in the key of B natural (which seems unlikely) Why the
>> speed-up ? I don't know. (I haven't checked the others recorded
>> at this session.)
>> Vocalion 1108, Jimmie Noone's Apex Club Orchestra,
>> "Forevermore" plays very slow (I forget what key); the song was
>> published in C, and the orchestration in Db which is the key that
>> Guy Lombardo recorded it. My guess is that Vocalion wanted the
>> recording to fill the whole record and so recorded it at a faster
>> speed.
>> I'd be interested in other such examples.
>> Thornton Hagert, Vernacular Music Research.
>
Well, as a harmonica player, I often try to play along with blues or
blues-related recordings I own! I own the original 78 issue of Fats
Waller's "Your Feets Too Big"...but in trying to play along with it, I
discovered it seems to be in something like "E flat and a half"...at
least it is audibly NOT in the key of any of the many harmonicas I
own! My guess is that it wasn't recorded at exactly 78.26 rpm...?!

Steven C. Barr

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