Music, Sound, and Technology in America

A documentary history of early photograph, cinema, and radio

This unique anthology assembles primary documents chronicling the development of the photograph, film sound, and the radio. These three sound technologies shaped Americans' relation to music from the late nineteenth century to the end of the Second World War, by which time the technologies were thoroughly integrated into everyday life. There are more that 120 selections between the collection's first piece, an article on the phonograph written by Thomas Edison in 1878, and its last, a column advising listeners "desirous of gaining more from music a presented by the radio." Taken together, the selections capture how the new sound technologies were shaped by developments such as urbanization, the increasing value placed on leisure time, and the rise of the advertising industry. ore importantly, they depict the ways that the new sound technologies were received by real people in particular places and moments in time. 

Editors: Timothy D. Taylor, Mark Katz, Tony Grajeda

432 pages 
Published by Duke University Press, 2012
Paperback