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1948 __ Long playing records
Comment : Columbia introduces commercially successful long playing records (LPs) which play at 33 1/3 rpm.A gramophone record, commonly known as phonograph record (in American English), vinyl record (when made of polyvinyl chloride), or simply record, is an analog sound storage medium consisting of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove. The groove usually starts near the periphery and ends near the centre of the disc. Gramophone records were the primary medium used for commercial music reproduction for most of the 20th century, replacing the phonograph cylinder by the 1920s. They were largely supplanted by the late 1980s by digital media, leaving the mainstream in 1991. As recording technology evolved, more specific terms for various types of phonograph records were used in order to describe some aspect of the record: either its correct rotational speed ("16⅔ R.P.M.", "33⅓ R.P.M.", "45 R.P.M.", "78 R.P.M.") or the material used (particularly "vinyl" to refer to records made of polyvinyl chloride, or the earlier "shellac records" generally the main ingredient in 78s). Other terms such as "Long Play" or L.P. and "Extended Play" or E.P. describe multi-track records that play a lot longer than the single-item-per-side records, which typically don't go much past 4 minutes per side. An L.P. can play for about thirty minutes per side. The 7" 45rpm format normally contains one item per side but a 7" EP could achieve recording times of 10 to 15 minutes at the expense of attenuating and compressing the sound to reduce the width required by the groove. Early disc recordings were produced in a variety of speeds ranging from 60 rpm to 120 rpm, and a variety of sizes. At least one manufacturer, Philips, produced records that played at a constant linear velocity. As these were played from the inside to the outside, the rpm of the record reduced as reproduction progressed (as is also true of the modern Compact Disc). As early as 1894, Emile Berliner's United States Gramophone Company was selling single-sided 7" discs with an advertised standard speed of "about 70 rpm" (Ober, Norman (1973-12). "You Can Thank Emil Berliner for the Shape Your Record Collection Is In". Music Educators Journal, Vol. 60, No. 4 (Dec., 1973), pp. 38-40). One standard audio recording handbook describes speed regulators or "governors" as being part of a wave of improvement introduced rapidly after 1897. A picture of a hand-cranked 1898 Victrola shows a governor. It says that spring drives replaced hand drives. It notes that: "The speed regular was furnished with an indicator that showed the speed when the machine was running so that the records, on reproduction, could be revolved at exactly the same speed...The literature does not disclose why 78 rpm was chosen for the phonograph industry, apparently this just happened to be the speed created by one of the early machines and, for no other reason continued to be used." (Oliver Read (1952). The Recording and Reproduction of Sound, Revised and Enlarged Second Edition. Indianapolis: Howard W. Sams & Co., Inc.. , chapter 2, "History of Acoustical Recording." Introduction of speed governors, p. 12). By 1925, the speed of the record became standardised at a nominal value of 78 rpm. However, the standard was to differ between America and the rest of the world. The actual 78 speed in America was 78.26 rpm, being the speed of 3600 rpm synchronous motor (run from 60 Hz supply) reduced by 46:1 gearing. Throughout the rest of the world, 77.92 rpm was adopted being the speed of a 3000 rpm synchronous motor powered by a 50 Hz supply and reduced by 38.5:1 gearing. Early recordings were made entirely acoustically, the sound being collected by a horn and piped to a diaphragm which vibrated the cutting stylus. Sensitivity and frequency range were poor, and frequency response was very irregular, giving cylinder recordings an instantly recognizable tonal quality. A singer practically had to put his face in the recording horn. Cellos and double basses were completely unrecordable. Violins were barely recordable but instruments were modified with a horn built into the sound box to direct the sound into the recorder's horn. Contrary to popular belief, if placed properly and prepared-for, drums could be effectively used and heard on even the earliest jazz and military band recordings. The loudest instruments stood the farthest away from the collecting horn. Lillian Hardin Armstrong, a member of King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band that recorded at Gennett Records in 1923, remembered that at first Oliver and his young second trumpet, Louis Armstrong, stood next to each other and Oliver's horn couldn't be heard. "They put Louis about fifteen feet over in the corner, looking all sad." (Rick Kennedy, "Jelly Roll, Bix, and Hoagy: Gennett Studios and the Birth of Recorded Jazz", Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis, 1994, pp. 63–64). During the 1920s, engineers including Orlando R. Marsh, as well as those at Western Electric, developed technology for capturing sound with microphones, amplifying it with vacuum tubes, and using the amplified signal to drive an electromagnetic recording head. A wide frequency range could now be recorded with a big increase in playback volume limited only by the pitch of the grooves in the record. Although the technology used vacuum tubes and today would be described as "electronic", at the time it was referred to as "electrical". A 1926 Wanamaker's ad in The New York Times offers records "by the latest Victor process of electrical recording" (Wanamaker (1926-01-16). Wanamaker's ad in The New York Times, January 16, 1926, p. 16). It was recognized as a breakthrough; in [1930], a Times music critic stated: "...the time has come for serious musical criticism to take account of performances of great music reproduced by means of the records. To claim that the records of succeeded in exact and complete reproduction of all details of symphonic or operatic performances... would be extravagant. [But] the article of today is so far in advance of the old machines as hardly to admit classification under the same name. Electrical recording and reproduction have combined to retain vitality and color in recitals by proxy." (Pakenham, Compton (1930), "Recorded Music: A Wide Range". The New York Times, February 23, 1930, p. 118). In 1931, RCA Victor launched the first commercially available vinyl long-playing record, marketed as "Program Transcription" discs. These revolutionary discs were designed for playback at 33⅓ rpm and pressed on a 30 cm diameter flexible plastic disc, with a duration of about ten minutes playing time per side. Beginning in 1939, Dr. Peter Goldmark and his staff at Columbia Records undertook efforts to address problems of recording and playing back narrow grooves and developing an inexpensive, reliable consumer playback system. In 1948, the 12-inch (30 cm) Long Play (LP) 33⅓ rpm microgroove record album was introduced by the Columbia Record Company at a New York press conference on June 21, 1948. In February 1949, RCA Victor released the first 45 rpm single, 7 inches in diameter, with a large center hole to accommodate an automatic play mechanism on the changer, so a stack of singles would drop down one record at a time automatically after each play. Early 45 rpm records were made from either vinyl or polystyrene. They had a playing time of eight minutes (Williams, Trevor, A Short History of Twentieth-Century Technology, C. 1900 - C. 1950. Oxford University Press, 1982). A number of recordings were pressed at 16⅔ rpm (usually a 7-inch disc, visually identical to a 45 rpm single). Peter Goldmark, the man who developed the 33⅓ rpm record, developed the Highway Hi-Fi 16⅔ rpm record to be played in Chrysler automobiles, but poor performance of the system and weak implementation by Chrysler and Columbia led to the demise of the 16⅔ rpm records. Subsequently, the 16⅔ rpm speed was used for radio transcription discs or narrated publications for the blind and visually impaired, and were never widely commercially available, although it was common to see new turntable models with a 16 rpm speed setting produced as late as the 1970s.CBS Laboratories head research scientist Peter Goldmark led Columbia's team to develop a phonograph record that would hold at least 20 minutes per side (Goldmark, Peter. Maverick inventor; My Turbulent Years at CBS. New York: Saturday Review Press, 1973). Columbia Records unveiled the LP at a press conference in the Waldorf Astoria on June 21, 1948 in two formats: 10 in (25 cm) in diameter, matching that of 78 rpm singles, and 12 in (30 cm) in diameter (Marmorstein, Gary. The Label: The Story of Columbia Records. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press; p.165). Although they released 100 simultaneously to allow for a purchasing catalogue, the first catalogue number for a ten-inch LP, CL 6001, was a reissue of the Frank Sinatra 78 rpm album set The Voice of Frank Sinatra; the first catalogue number for a twelve-inch LP, ML 4001, was the Mendelssohn Concerto in E Minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 64, played by Nathan Milstein with the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York conducted by Bruno Walter. These two albums are therefore the first long-players. (. (Compiled from various sources)
Urls : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramophone_record (last visited ) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LP_album (last visited ) http://www.classicalmusiccd.com/audiohistoryLP.html (last visited )

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