A treasure trove of music recording history

An interesting, and rewarding, recent development On An Overgrown Path recently has been the interest in the recording process and sound quality, an interest also reflected in other new blogs including the excellent The Crunch. Recording history is a particular area of interest for me as I worked for both the BBC and EMI in my time in the music industry, so I was delighted this week when our internet sleuth Walt Santner sent me details of a veritable treasure trove of recording history links.

The links are part of the University of San Diego's project documenting the history of recorded sound. The timeline only currently goes up to 2005, so it doesn't yet cover topics such as SACD in depth, but there is some really interesting material there including a history of microphone development. But the real gem is the extensive list of internet resources and links. And please don't think this is just for geeks, there is important musical and cultural material there as well.

I've only just started to explore the resources, but already I've been fascinated by the Aaron Copland Collection from the Library of Congress, America's Jazz Heritage from the Smithsonian Institution, a discussion of recording and gender, an audio file of Stokowski talking about orchestra seating layouts, a very good summary of sound recording copyright, and one for the geeks - an illustrated history of world payphones. There are also a lot of downloads, check out the 44 recordings of Omaha Indian music, and Stokowski downloads of ten audio and two video files.

Ideal browsing for an autumn holiday weekend - enjoy!

* That wonderful header photo is from the the HybridSoundSystem.com website, and shows the Seattle Session Orchestra being recorded in Bastyr University Chapel - do check out the HybridSound site for the interesting audio samples.

For more Walt Santner discoveries visit a Treasure trove of historic MP3 downloads
Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk


Anonymous said…
Dear Pliable,


I am a new blogger from South Asia. I am a South Asian Catholic of Portuguese Descent.

Today, is my first day blogging.

My Plan is to almost exclusively blog on "Sacred Choral Music" as well as Classical Music.

Hope you received my comment on the possibility of sending me "The Mozart Symphonies" which were performed by Danish Public Radio in January 2006.

In India, we are literally starved for good quality Classical as well as Sacred Choral Music and my only resource is mp3's on the web.

This Post is awesome.

My Favorite composers are Beethoven, Mozart, and Palestrina to mention a few.

I am extremely sad and disappointed that I missed out totally on the awesome PodCasts from "B.B.C. Radio 3 in 2005 as well as from Danish Public Radio" earlier this year on those awesome mp3's on the 9 Symphonies of Beethoven as well as on the 9 Symphonies of Mozart.

I pray that some kind soul would send them to me such as Jon lund or anyone else.

Check out my new blogspot whenever you can.

It is http://traditionalcatholic-dominic.blogspot.com/index.html
Kathy said…
Thanks for this Pliable. Once again you provide a great list of resources.

I also was happily surprised to see a picture of Bastyr. When the Seattle Choral Company is contracted to record movie trailers, we frequently do it at Bastyr, which is purported to be one of the most acoustically perfect places in the area.
Pliable said…
Just in from Devra Hall whose own blog is well worth the click.

Perhaps of interest to you and your readers is an article in today's New York Times -- "Where Collectors Can Get Lost Classical Recordings" -- about a company licensing out-of-print recordings and making them available on CD.

"ArkivMusic, a four-year-old company based in Bryn Mawr, Pa., maintains a database of more than 70,000 classical CDs, DVDs and SACDs (super audio compact discs), all sold through its Web site. Over the last two months, the company has added more than 1,600 ArkivCDs to its site: custom-burned CD-Rs of otherwise unavailable recordings, packaged in standard jewel boxes with facsimiles of the original cover and tray card. So far, liner notes are not included."

Happy Holidays
Pliable said…
Can anyone help Dominic? You can find his email via this link, and his web site on Beethoven is worth a visit as well:

Is there anyone here who can help me ?

I am looking for the first 17 hours of Mozart's PodCasts from "Mozart Podd Radio" in Sweden as well as the Nine Symphonies" from Danish Public Radio which were made available earlier this year.

Pliable, i am aware of your views as regards free mp3's but in my country Classical Music Cd's cannot be found most of the time at all.

I will be grateful for any consideration as regards this request for these mp3's.

Posted by DOMINIC to On An Overgrown Path at 11/26/2006 05:21:13 PM
Anonymous said…
Dear Pliable,

Greetings and Many Thnaks for the assistance.

Thanks for posting my comments at the right place.

Check out my Blog as and when you can.

I have added your awesome blog to a list of blogs that I like.

It is my World of "Sacred Choral Music, Classical Music, Early Rennaissance Music. etc".

Did you check out my first post on my Blog where I had made a mention of some "High Quality MP3's" which are available at the link I posted.

These mp3 Files on Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis" will only be available till the 1st of December or maximum the 1st Week of December. It is from the 1995 Album of "The Chicago Symphony Orceshtra".

The Composition in question is one which I love the best.

It is Ludwig Van Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis" conducted and Performed by Sir George Solti of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

The MP3'S have been encoded at the rate of 192kbps and hence they sound fabulous.

Since, I am speaking about Beethoven, I came across a Post on your Blog which spoke about B.B.C. Radio 3 and the downloads they made available as regards Beethoven in June 2005.

I am so sad that I have been missing out on some awesome mp3's of composers like Mozart and Beethoven.

Visit my Blog when u can.

I plan to post some stuff on Palestrina soon, specially on his famous Mass that he composed.

"Missa Pape Marcelli".

BTW, Did i mention that I learnt the violin at the age of 10 and I am from an Indian Catholic Family of Portuguese Descent with a "Rich Tradition in Classical Music".

I have a blood relative who finished her Classical Studies up to the sixth grade at "The Trinity College of Music in London".

I guess you are British.

I love B.B.C. Radio 3.

My Prayer is that they will make "Free Downloads" available in the future once more.

Have a Great Day.
Pliable said…
Um ..... Dominic, what about the
copyright on that Missa Solemnis?
Anonymous said…
Dear Pliable,

With regard to the Copyright on "Missa Solemnis" I assume that since those mp3's have been made available in the United States as well as in Germany by a University Choir -- "Fair Use" is associated with it.

Check out my latest post on mp3's being made available by a German Web Site.

I assume Folks will not be selling these mp3's and making any commercial gain out of these mp3's.

Also, Since that Web Site associated with some Musicians in the United States made it available on their site -- I assume that it is free and legal to download it for personal use or for one's personal listening pleasure and nothing beyond that.

Thanks for the query.
Pliable said…
Um ..... Dominic, I think you'll find it isn't quite that simple. But it is your website, not mine.
Anonymous said…
Dear Pliable,

Many Thanks for your comments.

If you think, I should take down both of my Posts on "Missa Solemnis" let me know.

Pliable said…
Dominic, it's your call.

But I do recommend you to read and understand copyright law which is there to protect the interests of the musicians who made the original recording.
Anonymous said…
Dear Pilable,

Greetings and Good Evening.

Have you heard from any Visitor to your site with regard to Mozart's Downloads from Danish Public Radio ?

I also have a request.

Would it be possible please, to alert me if you get to know of any Free MP3's or Podcasts being offered by any Calssical Music Station in any part of Europe.

Thanks in advance and have a great day.

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