Tagung: Early Recording Technologies: Transnational Practices, History and Heritage

Registration is now open for the Early Recording Technologies:
Transnational Practices, History and Heritage Symposium to be held at
the University of Glasgow (UK) on the 15th of June 2018.

The symposium is free but places are limited. Please register via


About the symposium:

The first fifty years of the record industry, from the invention of the
phonograph by T.A. Edison in 1877 to the advent of electrical recording
in 1925, changed in dramatic and irreversible ways how people performed,
listened to and thought about music and sound; archiving and
transmission of musical culture was also greatly challenged. At the turn
of the twentieth century, the record industry constituted one of the
earliest and most vibrant global industries, relying on a complex yet
often little-known infrastructure.

Against a homogenising or flattening history of the industry, we would
like to retrace and interrogate the persisting heterogeneity of
practices, interpretations and discourses accompanying the rise of
phonography. By bringing together scholars from across Europe, as well
as sound archivists and sound artists, this one-day symposium intends to
uncover these multi-layered processes in a culturally and contextually
sensitive way. With contributions focusing on the development of the
recording industry at the local, national and transnational levels, the
nascent aesthetics of recorded sound and the changes it brought to
listening, the repertoires registered in early recordings and the
changing role of recording technologies in memory practices, the
symposium will ask the following questions:

  • How were the early reception and uses of sound recording technologies
    informed by local practices and cultural specificities across Europe?
  • How did the advent of phonography, reciprocally, challenge regional
    identities and modes of cultural production?
  • What can we learn from the study of such practices and specificities in
    order to build the foundations of a differential transnational history
    of phonography that contextualizes the listening and creative
    remediation of such recordings, increasingly available nowadays through
    online collections and repositories?
  • How can we navigate and productively theorise the phonographic archive
    without succumbing to its overwhelming vastness?


All sessions will take place in the James Arnott Theatre (Gilmorehill
Centre), 9 University Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8NN.

The evening performances will take place in the Concert Hall, Music
Building, 14 University Gardens, Glasgow, G12 8QH.