Tchaikovsky’s Voice Captured on an Edison Cylinder (1890)

Take a quick trip back in time, to 1890. Here you can listen to Pyotr Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker, the 1812 Overture, etc.) and other eminent musicians having some fun, recording their voices on a then new-fangled technology, the phonograph cylinder, invented by Thomas Edison in 1870. To get a transcript of what the friends had to say, you can read the transcript after the jump. Thanks Maggie for this tip. (via BoingBoing)

A. Rubinstein: What a wonderful thing [the phonograph].
J. Block: Finally.
E. Lawrowskaja: A disgusting…how he dares slyly to name me.
W. Safonov : (Sings a scale incorrectly).
P. Tchaikovsky: This trill could be better.
E. Lawrowskaja: (sings).
P. Tchaikovsky: Block is good, but Edison is even better.
E. Lawrowskaja: (sings) A-o, a-o.
W. Safonow: (In German) Peter Jurgenson in Moskau.
P. Tchaikovsky: Who just spoke?

Related Content:

Voices from the 19th Century: Tennyson, Gladstone, Whitman & Tchaikovsky



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  1. Seth Harwood says . . . | November 18, 2009 / 4:49 am

    James Joyce is out there too. As is Walt Whitman!

  2. Gene De Lisa says . . . | November 20, 2009 / 8:17 am

    “Peter” rather than “Pyotr” is the LOC transliteration for his given name.

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