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Listen: 140 Years of Recorded Sound at The British Library

March 15, 2018

Exhibition

I was in London yesterday, and had a little time free to visit this exhibition about the history of recorded sound at the British Library. Having something so exactly match up with my interests is a very lucky co-incidence – and if anything my expectations were exceeded, though it is by no means a large exhibition.

alex

This is from an installation about a boy who kept logs and recordings in the earliest days of radio – really looking forward to getting to the 1920s when I’ll be listening in to these.

largest smallest

This is the largest ever commercially produced record – a Pathe 20″ disc weighing over two kilogrammes – and the smallest – a recording of ‘God Save The King’ made for the record player in the Queen’s dolls’ house.

stamps

These are tiny playable stamps from Bhutan, which play folk songs, the national anthem, and a short history of Bhutan.

What I can’t share, of course, is all the audio – so you’ll just need to find your way there by May 13th. Details can of course be found on the British Library Website here.

There is quite a lot to see, watch and hear – I spent over an hour there, even though it is a very small exhibition, and left wanting more. What I really want is an entire museum of this standard – it’s such a vast and fascinating topic. Anyone want to pay for that to happen? Maybe we should set up a kickstarter.

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