NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

1890 __ The first field recordings of Native American music
Jesse Walter Fewkes (1850-1930)
Comment : The first field recordings of Native American music contain Passamaquoddy songs, tales, and vocabulary, sung and spoken by Noel Josephs and Peter Selmore, as recorded by Jesse Walter Fewkes (1850-1930) at Calais, Maine, in mid-March 1890. Knowing that he would participate in the Hemenway expedition to Hopi and Zuni pueblos in the Southwest during the summer of 1890, he decided to test the brand-new technology closer to his home in Boston. Delighted with the results, he immediately published enthusiastic accounts of the process and of his results in three journals, thereby spreading the word of the "talking machine's" utility to folklorists, linguists, ethnologists, and other interested parties. The two cylinders in the photograph are among those recorded in Maine between March 15 and 17, 1890. They came to the Library in 1970 from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University. The cylinder machine in the photo, while not the same model as Fewkes used, is a Columbia Graphophone, Model N, marketed in 1895 and manufactured in Washington, D.C.".
Source : Brady, Erika (1985), "The Box That Got the Flourishes: The Cylinder Phonograph in Folklore Fieldwork, 1890-1937." Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University.
Source : Brady, Erika (1999), “A Spiral Way: How the Phonograph Changed Ethnography”, Jackson, Miss. : University Press of Mississippi.
Source : Peterson, Richard A. (1997), “Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity”, Chicago: University of Chicago.
Urls : http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/trr015.html (last visited )

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