The Phonograph

Invented by: Thomas Edison

Life before the phonograpgh

-Before the phonograph, people had to go to live performances or saloons to hear music. Every saloon wanting live music to attract customers, so they all had to hire musicians. Due to all the demands, it was hard to find a group of musicians available at the same time to perform

-In order to hear live music at home, you had to hire someone or learn the music yourself. Most people were learning their own music to play.

Introduction to the invention

-In 1877, Edison, wanting to improve the telegraph and telephone, finds a way to record sounds using a tin-covered cylinder.

-Months later, Edison and his associates perfect the phonograph

-His first recording into the phonograph was "Mary had a little lamb"

Evolution of the phonograph

-Edison first used a tinfoil sheet and a cylinder which would rotate in a circle with a stylus touching it to create copies of the sound

-Later, Charles Sumner Tainter and Chichestesr Bell improved Edison's phonograph by changing the tin cylinder to wax and he used a less rigid stylus. This resulted in a better quality sound. He called his improvement, the graphophone.

- Emile Berliner developed an even better idea by using a flat disk instead of a cylinder. Using a disk instead of a cylinder could produce larger quantities of music and it costed less. This new patent is called the gramophone.

Immediate positive change to life due to the invention

-People could now bring their favorite music into their own home, without having to see a live performance.

Negative impact of the phonograph

-Before the phonograph, most people learned to play musical instruments and there was a large market for sheet music. After the phonograph was invented, you wouldn't need to learn music if it could just play it from a recording. The business for sheet music gone down.

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