I'm no expert in this area - I'm only using published resources, so please
forgive me if you have already consulted them yourself.
In answer to your question 1., the main factor I can think of which might
have disrupted commercial plans and agreements after 1904 in those
territories was the Russo-Japanese War.
I'm afraid I can't answer your other questions from documented evidence but,
with regard to question 3., I'm almost certain that travelling recording
expert(s) would have paid one-time fees directly to recording artists, as
any resulting records were destined for local sale, plus a commission to
local scouts and/or fixers. Only recordings by artists whose international
prestige promised long-term commercial exploitation in several markets would
have required the involvement of head office, directly or indirectly (as in
the famous anecdote about Fred Gaisberg cabling London about Caruso's fee).
There must have been variations from territory to territory, according to
local customs, laws, etiquette and so on. In many cases, I would imagine
that no legal and/or financial instrument was drawn up on paper and that
agreements were verbal; records of payments made would presumably have been
kept by the recording expert(s) to show head office.
With regard to early recordings made in Korea, Alan Kelly's listings of
Gramophone Co. matrices reveal that, in December 1906, thirty-five 7-inch
matrices were recorded by Will Gaisberg in Korea, and assigned matrix
numbers 3178d to 3213d.
Furthermore, Mr. Kelly states that in January 1907, 'Japanese/Korean shells
and labelling details [were] sent to Victor Co'. He gives no reason or
Searching the EDVR (http://victor.library.ucsb.edu/) one finds just two
matrices recorded in Korea, but these are 10-inch:
Whether information about the 7-inch shells was retained by Victor and has
been preserved I do not know but it might be worth asking the EDVR team:
[log in to unmask]
In addition, since Gaisberg was employed by the Gramophone Co. in London,
the EMI Archive in west London may have retained information of the kind you
are seeking. After a period of worrying inactivity and inaccessibility to
all but very few researchers, the EMI Archive Trust appears to be taking its
duties and responsibilities seriously and has appointed an new archivist,
Joanna Hughes, who should be in a position to help you:
[log in to unmask]
Before contacting the Archive, you should read the terms and conditions and
fees detailed on the following page:
Once again, my apologies if you know all this already - and good luck with
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mark (Jihoon) Suk
Sent: 07 July 2014 01:43
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] More questions regarding the 1906 Korean Victor
Because of some personal issues and technical problems (my ARSClist
subscription has been suspended, for an unknown reason), I could not manage
to see the replies I have got before.
It has been a while since I have posted my last email concerning my
progresses of the research I had worked on. I am now back in Korea, still
doing the research. So far, my research has been quite fruitful, thanks to
the help that numerous collectors, researchers, and record collectors gave
me with the various information. I have managed to discover 9 previously
unknown titles (each a unique copy) of Korean Victor recordings in various
institutes and collections in several countries, which was very helpful for
Now, here are some more big questions regarding these recordings.
As far as I know, Victor and Gramophone company made an agreement regarding
the market division in the "Far East". I believe that around 1904, the two
companies made an agreement that the Victor would have China, and the
Gramophone company would have Japan. However, as far as I know, by 1906-7,
Victor got the Japanese market as well. I know this by firsthand experience
since I have seen copies of the exact same recordings of Japanese music on
both Victor and G&T pressing. Is there any documentations or other
correspondences in the Victor Archives or EMI Archive, or even anywhere in
the world that at least partially explains the reason for this? I was not
able to recover any documentation about this matter. Also, I know almost
nothing about the involvement of Zonophone regarding the Asian foreign
market; so I was wondering if there's any information about the reason for
their involvement for handling Victor products in Asia.
As for the newly discovered records that I have found, all of the records
carries the big capital letter "M" on the blank side. I believe this is a
factory marking; and can anyone tell me the meaning of this?
This is a relevant question regarding the Victor (or Zonophone)'s foreign
recording sessions in general. Did Victor pay the recording fees to the
artist directly for their efforts, or did they pay to the talent scout or
any "mediator/negotiator" figure that was involved between them? If so, how
much did they generally pay for them? Is there any documentary evidence
regarding this practice in Victor archives?
Mark (Jihoon) Suk.