Talk:Phonautograph

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unclear sentence?[edit]

"causing the bristle to move and enabling it to inscribe the sound onto a visual medium." I'm just wondering if instead of "visual medium", it should say, "physical medium" or "permanent medium" or something along those lines? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Deafsound (talkcontribs) 15:59, 9 April 2010 (UTC)


Clair de Lune is older than Torquato Tasso recording[edit]

Go read the firstsounds.org site, they are both 1860. With Clair de lune earlier and probably the oldest recovered so far. I don't know where the news articles get hte year 1857 from, but on firstsounds they are both 1860. --Rajah (talk) 17:00, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Someone obviously didn't listen to the show correctly. I don't have an OGG converter: can someone please re-upload the file from [[1]]? I find it strange that they didn't realise it was too fast: halving the speed in any sound program allows you to hear him pausing as he runs out of breath.

It also sounds much more like the first verse than the second - you can even hear "prête-m...". Can anyone find a citation for that? --MarkSteward (talk) 17:40, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Clair de Lune recording length?[edit]

The article states that this is a "10-second" recording, but the audio file, which is apparently played at double speed, runs for about 10 seconds. Surely this would make the original recording length about 20 seconds, not 10? 81.129.163.246 (talk) 13:58, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

It's pretty spooky knowing just how old that recording is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.127.71.181 (talk) 21:03, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Can somebody answer for me, if playback was not a possibility, how was this device not considered reduntant? Also, more importantly, how did the inventor know it worked? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 120.18.228.247 (talk) 14:12, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

The device was not intended to record sound for playback, it was only intended for studying sound. It took a while for people to understand that you could not only make a sound into a pattern, but turn a pattern into sound.--RLent (talk) 20:36, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Other versions of recording[edit]

Earliest recognizable recording of human voice, from 9 April 1860[1]

Speed and pitch corrected to reflect Édouard-Léon's voice.

This 1860 phonautogram by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville is the oldest known intelligible recording of the human voice. The recording is slowed down to its original speed, revealing a man's voice, presumably Scott's, singing very slowly. The words are claimed to be "Au clair de la lune, Pierrot repondit", but some listeners hear "Au clair de la lune, mon ami Pierrot, prête-m—".http://www.firstsounds.org/sounds/scott.php.[2]

Problems playing these files? See media help.

I removed this from the Phonograph article because I felt it was too much detail for the WP:SUMMARY. There was some discussion about the legitimacy of the pitch correction. --Kvng (talk) 17:51, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

A good removal. Although you are correct in that it might be possible to guess what it should sound like based on the normal pitch range of a male voice, it is still impossible to know exactly what the pitch of the voice was when recorded because the voice pitch range is far too wide.
However, this article claims that the recording is slowed down "... to its original speed". I still maintain that that claim cannot be substantiated. 86.178.176.25 (talk) 11:03, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
Words ammended to reflect that the speed is realistic but not necessarily accurate. 86.177.27.130 (talk) 08:13, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
Amended further. There is not direct speed reference on the recordings so "slowed down" is merely with respect to a modern mistake. --Kvng (talk) 13:11, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
I take your point, but the recording was slowed down from the originally recovered recording. Actually, most of the phonautograph recordings did have a separate time base track so the original speed was known. A recording made in 1859 was identified as a recording of a 415Hz tuning fork (then the French standard concert pitch of A') purely because of the time base track (and is currently the oldest known recording of an identifiable sound of any kind). Unfortunately, the subject recording did not for some unknown reason have such a track (as well as an earlier unidentifiable recording). Your edit does not change the essential point, so I am not going to get excited about it. 86.184.24.24 (talk) 16:40, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
In fact, the speed is (now) quite accurate. It is based on the simultaneously recorded tuning fork track, which this phonautogram does have, and Scott noted the frequency of the tuning fork. The initial too-fast playback was due to confusion arising from the peculiar period terminology Scott used to describe that frequency, perhaps compounded by the researchers' reasonable expectations about the musical tempo. The error exactly doubled the correct playback speed, as now noted in the article. AVarchaeologist (talk) 10:12, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

Phonoautograms[edit]

I found the following comment in the article (and have not bothered to research who made it) and am moving it here for discussion. At this point, there is not actually a Phonoautogram redirect.

'''phonoautograms'''<!-- is the latter simply an error of recent origin propagated by news reports about the playbacks? If used at all in the contemporary literature (no occurrences have been noticed in the dozen or so vintage sources consulted to date), it must have been very uncommon. -->

A quick check indicates that it is a term that is in current use so probably should stay. --Kvng (talk) 13:42, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

The editor's note is mine. Subsequent digging revealed that minority "variant" (i.e., erroneous) spellings using the prefix "phono-" for both the "-autographs" and "-autograms" are not a recent development. Searching with Google Books turns up examples as early as the 1890s, but, very suggestively, none earlier than the 1877 introduction of Edison's phonOgraph. In some relatively recent instances, both the "variant" and correct spellings are used in different places in the same book. So it appears that redirection is needed from both "phonoautograph" and "phonoautogram", but in the present article both ought to be deprecated to as great a degree as Wikipedia policies will allow. The earliest literature, including a large 1859 print ad, appears to consistently use the "phonauto-" spelling found in standard texts on the early history of sound recording and in the overwhelming majority of pre-2008 mentions. AVarchaeologist (talk) 22:04, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for researching this. I have created the Phonoautogram redirect. Phonoautograph already existed. --Kvng (talk) 14:35, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

lyrics[edit]

The lyrics of the song Au Clair de la Lune (1860) is "au clair de la lune, mon ami Pierrot, prete-", watch this. --Darthipedist Obvious (talk) 08:45, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

The researchers at First Sounds now agree that it is the first verse, not the second, so the matter appears to be settled. AVarchaeologist (talk) 09:39, 27 April 2013 (UTC)