The Documentary Podcast
A History of Music and Technology: Sound Recording
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.