The oldest recorded sound is believed to be a 10-second clip of a cornet solo, known as the “Au clair de la lune” recording. It was created in 1860 by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville using his phonautograph device, predating Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph.
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The oldest recorded sound is widely believed to be a 10-second clip of a cornet solo, known as the “Au clair de la lune” recording. Created in 1860 by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville using his invention called the phonautograph, this remarkable artifact predates Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph. The phonautograph was essentially a device that could visualize sound waves by etching them onto a sheet of paper covered in soot. Although Scott de Martinville’s invention was primarily intended for visual purposes and not for playback, modern technology has allowed us to recover and listen to these early sound recordings.
Interesting facts about the oldest recorded sound:
- Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville was a French printer and bookseller who became fascinated with the idea of capturing sound in a visual form. He patented his phonautograph in 1857, three years before Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph.
- The “Au clair de la lune” recording was discovered in 2008 by a group of American audio historians who had been working to recover and play back old recordings. It was found on a phonautogram—a paper scroll with the visible sound waves—preserved in the French patent office archives.
- While the “Au clair de la lune” recording is the oldest known sound recording, it does not represent the oldest known musical performance. The recording features a cornet solo playing a segment of the French folk song, but it is unknown who the musician was.
- The phonautograph recordings were not intended for playback. Scott de Martinville’s main goal was to find a way to preserve and study the visual representation of sound waves. It was only with the advancement of technology that these early sound recordings could be converted into audio.
Inspiring quote on the significance of early sound recordings:
“The preservation of human voices, linked to the earliest and most extraordinary sound recordings made possible through available technologies, presents us with a rich and vivid cross-section of the music, art, literature, religion, politics, and history of the 19th century.” – David Giovannoni, audio historian and recording restoration expert.
Table representing important details:
|“Au clair de la lune”||1860||Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville||Visualization of sound waves|
|Phonograph||1877||Thomas Edison||Playback and recording of sound|
|Phonautograph||1857||Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville||Visual representation of sound waves|
By exploring the story behind the oldest recorded sound, we not only appreciate the ingenuity of inventors like Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville but also gain insight into the evolution of sound recording technology, paving the way for the remarkable advancements we enjoy today.
Video response to “What is the oldest recorded sound?”
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Au clair de la luneOn April 9, 1860—157 years ago this Sunday—the French inventor Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville created the first sound recording in history. An eerie rendition of the folksong "Au clair de la lune," the clip was captured by Scott’s trademark invention, the phonautograph, the earliest device known to preserve sound.
A digitally converted phonautograph recording of Au Clair de la Lune is now considered the earliest recognizable record of the human voice and the earliest recognizable record of music.
On April 9, 1860— 157 years ago this Sunday —the French inventor Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville created the first sound recording in history. An eerie rendition of the folksong "Au clair de la lune," the clip was captured by Scott’s trademark invention, the phonautograph, the earliest device known to preserve sound.
This recording was discovered just a few years ago and it is believed to be the oldest recording of a human voice. ‘Au Clair de la Lune‘ is actually a French folk song from the 18th century. A few lines of this song were sung by a woman and recorded on paper with a phonautograph in 1860 by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville.
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What was the first music sound?
Answer to this: On April 9, 1860, Scott recorded a snippet of the French folk song “Au Clair de la Lune.” The specific “first recorded sound” would thus fall sometime between the early experiments and the recognizable “Au Clair de la Lune” record. (You can listen to 1857, 1859 and 1860 recordings on the First Sounds website.)
Who made the first sound?
The response is: That honor goes to Edouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, a French inventor who in 1857 devised his phonautograph—a machine that inscribed the vibrations of airborne sounds onto a permanent medium.
When was sound invented?
Response to this: The history of the earliest origins of recorded sound technology is being rewritten! Recent scholarship makes it clear that sound recording was invented twice: First by inventor Edouard-Léon Scott de Martinville in 1857 France, then 20 years later by Thomas Alva Edison in the United States.
How old is the original Sound of Music?
The Sound of Music (1965)
When the Sound of Music was released in 1965 it took the world by storm, earning five Oscars. For millions of people, the film is the rare combination of a powerful and moving story, first rate music, and breathtaking scenery of Salzburg!
What is the earliest recording of music?
This is the earliest recording of music known to exist. In 1888 a recording of Arthur Sullivan’s song ‘The Lost Chord‘ was etched onto a phonograph cylinder. Sullivan was astounded at this new technology, but had his reservations too.
Who invented Sound Recording?
Answer will be: FYI. This story is over 5 years old. The French sound recording pioneerÉdouard-Léon Scott de Martinville never expected his samples to be played back, but scientists found a way. On April 9, 1860— 157 years ago this Sunday —the French inventor Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville created the first sound recording in history.
When was the first sound recorded?
As a response to this: On April 9, 1860, Scott recorded a snippet of the French folk song “Au Clair de la Lune.” The specific “first recorded sound” would thus fall sometime between the early experiments and the recognizable “Au Clair de la Lune” record. (You can listen to 1857, 1859 and 1860 recordings on the First Sounds website .)
What is the oldest recorded voice?
(April 2015) Oldest known intelligible recording of a human voice in 1860. Played at what is now believed to be the correct speed, The words are "Au clair de la lune, mon ami Pierrot, prête-m—". Problems playing this file? See media help.