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1922 __ Shall we have music or noise ?
Comment : On a certain evening a piano selection was being "rended" in a wretched style and I was goaded into calling these people by telephone and protesting. A young man answered the phone and in response to my unwelcome criticism he stated that he was surprised to learn that their signals were poor and asked for suggestions. I explained what I thought was wrong and to demonstrate what I meant I placed the transmitter of the telephone a few feet from my "loud speaker" and let him drink his own poison. He was inclined to believe that my receiver was at fault so I picked up another better station and let him listen to some good signals. This finally convinced him that his station was greatly at fault and he promised to do better. But did he? He did not. Night after night they continue to flood the ether with squawkings that bring unpleasant remembrances of the old tin-horned gramophones. This stuff, for that is all the title it merits, will discourage thousands of prospective purchasers of radio-telephone receiving apparatus and should be ruled out of the ether. These and other malefactors, even though they may be operating with the best of intentions, are arousing a storm of protest and harsh criticism that will react against every broadcasting station in the country unless something is done to improve their programmes. Their main fault lies in imperfect modulation and wrong methods of recording. As a general rule a single voice singing gives much better results than a chorus. Likewise a few stringed instruments sound better than an entire symphony orchestra. Jazz bands are an abomination and should be absolutely eliminated, not because the public does not like jazz but because the scrambled mess of disjointed harmony that is jazz just cannot crowd into a telephone transmitter, with the result that all the public hears is a babel that bears no resemblance to music. What the public wants is music, not excitement! Piano music, if used at all, should be carefully chosen and then played by an artist. Canned music is not wanted, that of phonographs or any other instrument. We all have our share of good phonographs and player- pianos and they give us much better music than has ever been broadcasted by radio-telephone. The writer has listened to a score of piano concerts and has noticed one particular fault. In many compositions certain softly played portions are hardly audible and then when the artist crashes into a grand finale the telephone diaphragms go crazy. Something should be done to keep the volume more even, if necessary instruct the recording artists not to play either too softly or too loudly. Impress upon them that there are certain limitations to a radio-telephone transmitter and let them keep within lose limits. Artists when making phonograph records must observe certain rules, and idio-telephone broadcasting should be governed by similar rules. [...] Just recently the writer was walking along a busy street and observing a crowd in front of a building a few blocks away, and, being possessed of the usual amount of metropolitan inquisitiveness, he decided to investigate. Upon approaching the crowd he was greeted with a babel of noise that sounded like the wild whoops that are showered upon Babe Ruth when he swats another ball into "the great beyond." The cause of all this commotion was a " loud speaker" connected to a radio-telephone receiver. The assemblage was not at all impressed with this free "concert", but, on the contrary, there were many murmurings and quite a few loud spoken comments to the effect that " If that's this here radio that the papers are talking about I don't want none of it." And right at this minute there are hundreds of such unconvincing demonstrations of radio-telephone broadcasting being perpetrated upon the suffering public, and I say it's a doggone shame. Not one person in that large crowd would offer anything but a cold response to any attempt to sell them a radio-telephone receiver; indeed, any such attempt would have met with instant ridicule [...]. (Perce B. Collison, In“RADIO BROADCAST”, Vol. I, MAY, 1922, to OCTOBER, 1922, Garden City, N. Y., DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY, 1922, pp. 434-438)
Urls : http://www.archive.org/stream/radiobroadcast01gardrich/%23page/434/mode/2up (last visited )

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