TITLE: Revolutionaries, Nursery Rhymes, and Edison Wax Cylinders: The Remarkable Tale of the Earliest Korean Sound Recordings
SPEAKER: Robert Provine
EVENT DATE: 01/27/2009
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 59 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
On July 24, 1896, the pioneering ethnologist Alice Fletcher recorded six wax cylinders documenting the singing of three Koreans who were studying in Washington, D.C. Now housed in the American Folklife Center Archive, these cylinders have proved to be the earliest known recordings of Korean music. As interesting as the recordings themselves, are the extraordinary circumstances surrounding how they came to be made, as well as the remarkable group of people, both Korean and American, who were involved in this landmark project. This richly illustrated lecture explores the historical circumstances and the musical significance of these remarkable and remarkably early wax cylinders.
Speaker Biography: Ethnomusicologist Robert Provine is a professor at the University of Maryland's School of Music. From 1978 until 2000, he was professor of music at the University of Durham in the U.K. A past president of the Association for Korean Studies in Europe, he is author of "Essays on Sino-Korean Musicology: Early Sources for Korean Ritual Music" (1988), as well as numerous articles on Korean traditional music.
SERIES: Benjamin Botkin Lecture Series