NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

1926 __ 2LO BBC programme
Comment : Leaving aside the morning trade demonstration programmes, 2LO came on air every day a week. An early issue of "Radio Times" shows what listeners could expect to hear in October 1923. On weekdays, the station did not transmit before 5pm. A half hour women's programme then commenced followed by a three quarter hour children's programme. The station then closed down until 7pm when the first bulletin of national news was broadcast and transmitted by Simultaneous Broadcasting to all stations. A weather report and local news then followed. The period 7.15 to 7.30 provided a slot for a talk in which the BBC's literary, music, theatre or film critics frequently took apart, these also being relayed to all stations by Simultaneous Broadcasting. The evening concert then commenced, provided by the studio orchestra but including outside singers and instrumentalists. Other entertainers would often be given a slot. The concert might then resume but, perhaps, with dancd music until close-down at 10.30. As a special treat this would be transmitted from the ballroom of the Savoy Hotel where the Savoy Orphaeans played under the baton of Debroy Somers. On sundays, there was an afternoon programme between 3.00pm and 5.pm - perhaps an organ recital from an outside source. Evening transmissions did not start until 8;30pm so as to avoid clashing with Sunday church services. In place of a talk, a religious address would be given - often by a well-known preacher and accompanied by a hymn, music perhaps being provided by a military band, thus completing the week's transmissions. In all, 2LO's output amounted to about 33 hours a week with half this time devoted to music and half to the spoken word (this breakdown is based on the main occupations of the programmes). The "spoken word" element includes Women's and Children's hours which account for 44% of the "spoken word" time."A speaker is now introduced for the first time to the microphone. He is informed as to where to stand and the need to avoid rushing his papers (He may already have read similar instructions in the waiting room). He is announced and left to his own devices, his script having already been checked by the Company. After the twelve minute talk there is three minute interval. The double doors are thrown ipen and the orchestra files in. Normally it is about 23 strong but is augmented on this occasion. They take the seats allotted at reahearsal earlier in the day. At the other end of the studio the chorus and principals file in rapidly and go to their allotted places. The conductor mounts the rostrum and, with a few final words to principals and players, indicates he is ready. The engineers put the studio on air switching on the red lights and the performance is put under way. Meanwhile, preparations have been pushed forward in the upper studio for a short drama depending for its effects on various noises (The equipment for creating these sound effects was stored in the adjoining Band Room as this was now little used for its original purpose). The concert beneath is just finished. The announcer, breathless after his race up the several long flights of stairs, rushes in, gives a brief description on the now live microphone of what is about to happen and leaves the studio to the players. It is approaching 9.30. Our play has come to an end. For some few minutes the announcer has been anxiously watching the clock lest the play should overlap the time set apart for the second news bulletin. The engineers swtich into circuit first the chimes from Westminster and then the time from Greenwich observatory. The melodious bells are immediately followed byy six crisp pips, the last giving the half-hour. With the second bulletin finished a return is made to the musical programme".
Source : Hennessy, Brian & John (2005), "The emergence of broadcasting in Britain", Southerleigh, pp.295-302.

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