This unique anthology assembles primary documents chronicling the development of the phograph, film sound, and the radio. These three sound techlogies shaped Americans' relation to music from the late nineteenth century until the end of the Second World War, by which time the techlogies were thoroughly integrated into everyday life. There are more than 120 selections between the collection's first piece, an article on the phograph written by Thomas Edison in 1878, and its last, a column advising listeners desirous of gaining more from music as presented by the radio. Among the selections are articles from popular and trade publications, advertisements, fan letters, corporate records, fiction, and sheet music. Taken together, the selections capture how the new sound techlogies were shaped by developments such as urbanization, the increasing value placed on leisure time, and the rise of the advertising industry. Most importantly, they depict the ways that the new sound techlogies were received by real people in particular places and moments in time.
Timothy D. Taylor is Professor of Ethnomusicology and Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of The Sounds of Capitalism: Advertising, Music, and the Conquest of Culture and Beyond Exoticism: Western Music and the World, which is also published by Duke University Press.Mark Katz is Associate Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the author of Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music and Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ.Tony Grajeda is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies in the Department of English at the University of Central Florida. He is an editor of Lowering the Boom: Critical Studies in Film Sound.