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The Art of Sound

A Visual History for Audiophiles

Terry Burrows


A celebration of the visual artistry behind the evolution of sound recording with specially commissioned photography of iconic, rarely-seen artefacts from the collections of the EMI Archive Trust

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Charting the truly global story of the evolution of sound recording and playback, from Scott de Martinville’s invention of the phonautograph in 1857 to popular streaming services of today, this serendipitous volume details the four distinct ages of recorded sound – acoustic, electrical, magnetic and digital – documenting prototypes, rare examples of classic technology and other iconic artefacts from the vaults of the EMI Archives and beyond.

The Art of Sound showcases the hardware that changed the way we listened to music: from wax cylinder to stereophonic gramophone, acoustic horn to magnetic loudspeaker, valve radio to solid-state transistor, wire recorder to magnetic tape, Walkman to iPod, and compact disc to digital download. Facsimile blueprints splice the chapters: quirky, innovative and handsome patents from yesterday’s tomorrows. Archival catalogues, covers and industry ephemera, along with press shots of long forgotten stars, exemplify the sophisticated graphic and marketing approach of each era and every continent.

Music and audio expert Terry Burrows guides you through the evolution of every technological age in informative and engaging text punctuated with concise biographies of the great innovators, from Emile Berliner to Thomas Stockham.

An Electronic Sound Book of the Year 2017

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'An essential read'
Electronic Sound

'Lavishly illustrated ... strikes a good balance between the scientific and anecdotal'
Classical Music

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 24.6 x 21.0 cm

Extent: 350 pp

Publication date: 1 June 2017

ISBN: 9780500519288

Contents List

1. First Wave / Acoustic Era: from 1877 to 1924 • 2. Second Wave / Electrical Era: 1925 to 1945 • 3. Third Wave / Magnetic era: from 1946 to 1974 • 4. Fourth Wave / Digital era: from 1975 to present • Outro

About the Author

Terry Burrows is an author, musician and producer. Best known as a cult performer under the alias Yukio Yung, Burrows has recorded with The Chrysanthemums, Asmus Tietchens and the duo Push-Button Pleasure. He is also a prolific author of more than 80 books relating to music history, tuition and technology, popular psychology and history.

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