- Discover essay samples

The Phonograph

4.9 of 5.0 (79 reviews)

785 words

The Phonograph Page 1
The Phonograph Page 2
The Phonograph Page 3
The above thumbnails are of reduced quality. To view the work in full quality, click download.

Phonograph, also known as record player, electromechanical instrument for reproducing sound from a record. A record is a vinyl disk that has a spiral groove with tiny bumps on the walls of the groove; the bumps encode a musical or other type of recording. has four principal components: the turntable, the tonearm, the stylus, and the amplifier, although an amplifier is not always incorporated into the instrument.
The turntable is a flat, circular platform upon which the record is placed. An electric motor rotates the turntable at constant speed, usually 332, 45, or 78 revolutions per minute (rpm). The tonearm is a rod with a jewel-tipped stylus, or needle, at its free end. The tonearm either pivots to keep the stylus in the record groove, or is suspended by a mechanism that enables it to stay oriented in the same direction while it moves across the record. When the stylus moves along the undulating groove of the revolving disk, it vibrates, and the vibrations are converted into equivalent electrical impulses by the cartridge in the tonearm. These impulses are conducted by wire leads to an electronic amplifier and then to one or more loudspeakers.
The first practical phonograph was built by the American inventor Thomas Edison in 1877. Edison recorded sound on a cylinder, which was then rotated against a needle. The needle moved up and down in the grooves of the cylinder, producing vibrations that were amplified by a conical horn. Because of the vertical movement of the needle, this recording method was called the "hill-and-dale" process.
Edison had intended the phonograph to be used primarily as a dictating machine in offices. However, with the invention of the flat-disk phonograph, or gramophone, by the German-born American inventor Emile Berliner in 1887, the phonograph began to develop as an artistic medium for recording the great singers and musical instrumentalists of the time. The gramophone played records at 78 rpm, and the needle moved laterally (from side to side) in a groove of even depth. Like the cylinder phonographs, it reproduced sound with a needle whose mechanical vibrations were amplified by using a cone-shaped horn. Most such phonographs, moreover, were driven by spring motors and required rewinding. The records were made of shellac and broke easily.

Despite such limitations, the phonograph became increasingly popular in the United States, largely as a result of the production of a huge collection of recorded musical pieces by American and European record companies. The companies employed the greatest singers of Europe and the United States, such as the Italian dramatic tenor Enrich Caruso.

A wide variety of phonographs were also produced in Europe. In France, a gramophone was developed in which the needle traveled across the record from the center to the rim, reversing the usual process, and in which the record revolved at 90 rpm; this machine produced sound of very high quality for the period. Swiss music-box manufacturers specialized in the production of small portable phonographs.

The immense success of the phonograph led to demands for improved sound. About 1920, the old mechanical process began to be replaced by electrical recording and reproduction, in which the vibrations of the phonograph needle were amplified by electromagnetic devices instead of a horn. The 78-rpm records continued to be used, however, until the invention of the first fully practical long-playing record about 1948.

Mechanical Recording

The operation of a sound-recording system may, however, be m ffb ost easily understood by considering the process of recording sound by the now obsolete mechanical method. In this method, sound waves are used directly or indirectly to actuate a stylus or cutter that engraves on a disk or cylinder a wavy-line pattern corresponding to the pattern of sound waves. This process, with minor modifications, was used for many years in the production of phonograph records. In the direct method of mechanical recording, sound waves strike a very light diaphragm of metal or other substance and set it into motion. Attached to the diaphragm is a needle or cutting point that vibrates with the diaphragm. Under the point is a disk or cylinder of wax, metallic foil, shellac, or other suitable substance that is moved past the needle so that the needle cuts a groove in the form of a spiral on a disk, or a helix on a cylinder. As the needle vibrates it traces a wavy groove laterally or vertically in the record; this groove is a mechanical replica of the sound that struck the diaphragm of the recording machine. If, for example, the sound wave consists of the musical tone of A in the treble clef, which has a frequency of 440 Hz (hertz or cycles per second), the needle ...

You are currently seeing 50% of this paper.

You're seeing 785 words of 1570.

Keywords: the phonograph shop, the phonograph was invented in, the phonograph thomas edison, the phonograph industrial revolution, the phonograph was invented by which country, the phonograph recorded on wax cylinders, the phonograph 1877, the phonography was invented in which of the following countries

Similar essays

WoodStock Music Festival

, took place near Woodstock New York, on August 15, 16, and 17, 1969, and became a symbol of the 1960's American counterculture and a milestone in the were often referred to as hippies and who characteristically rejected hartred and authority, protested against the Vietnam War, supported the civil rights movement, dressed differently, and experimen...

206 reviews
Louis Armstrong

was famous around the world for his jazz interperitations on the trumpet and the many styles of jazz he produced and played. Not to mention, he also had many great accomplishments throughout his allustrious career. "Armstrong was the seminal artist of jazz history -- the first to combine trumpet virtuosity and an original musical vision with an en...

202 reviews
Origins And History Of The Dulcimer

The dulcimer is a member of the string family. It is further categorized into the Psaltrey family, a group of instruments that are comprised of strings stretched across a frame and played by plucking or drumming. The only difference, in fact, between the dulcimer and the psaltrey is the fact that one is plucked and the other is drummed. The dulci...

147 reviews
Behind The Doors

The program for this evening is not new. You've seen it thru and thru. Your birth, your life, and death. You might recall all of the rest. (Did you have a good life when you died?) Enough to base a movie on' (The Doors)? Jim Morrison's life was plenty to base a movie on, along with multiple books and magazine articles. His life was a complex...

169 reviews
Film Notes

John doe Film 230 3/2/2014 Chapter 19 1. If you're planning to use anything other than originally scored music in your film, television program, music video, commercial or multimedia project, you'll need the services of a music supervisor and/or a music clearance service. PG 303 2. Music Clearance is the process of securing permission to use mu...

136 reviews
Atsisiųsti šį darbą