Posted by: bluesyemre | February 7, 2012

Theo Wangemann’s 1889-90 European Recordings

Theo Wangemann's phonograph, showing 'recorder/reproducer' detail.  (Credit: Stuart H. Miller, M.D.)
  • Theo Wangemann was the world’s first professional sound recordist — the first person whose primary job was to coordinate musical recording sessions and to develop improved methods of capturing musical performances. Hired by Thomas Edison in 1888, he oversaw the first methodical production of musical recordings for the wax cylinder phonograph at Edison’s West Orange, New Jersey laboratory in 1888-89 and then played a prominent role in introducing the same invention to continental Europe. Until now, he has been best known as the technician who recorded Johannes Brahms at the piano in Vienna on December 2, 1889. This cylinder is of great historical interest, but it is badly damaged and does not do justice to Wangemann’s legacy as an expert recordist. 

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