The story of sound recording
Music ExtraA History of Music and Technology

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.


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