introduction of Apple
Apple's Launch of
Apple Music - The History of Sound:
127 Years of Recorded Music which
"led to the next great leap in listening: Apple Music."
By Doug Boilesen 2015
In June 2015 Apple introduced
Apple Music as "the next great leap in listening."
As part of its promotional kick-off Apple created a video showing
Apple Music as the new end point in the timeline of recorded
The starting point for Apple's
History of Sound is the phonograph of 1888 (bypassing the
earliest history of recorded sound). (1)
Apple's video, however, isn't
a documentary about the phonograph or a scholarly history of recorded
sound. With its Apple look and feel, this is a montage
of music playing devices energized by a beat and sounds that climax
with the iris of an eye, flash of light behind a man at a lectern
with outstretched arms and what looks like one finger pointing
up in his right hand and two fingers pointing up or making the
letter V with his left hand...cut to black, cut to white-lettered
2015 on black, cut to Apple Music on black and the
It's a fun video.
For Friends of the Phonograph,
the highlights of this production are, of course, the various
record playing machines throughout those 127 years which are visual
reminders of the phonograph's continual presence in the history
of recorded music.
During its multi-generational
use the phonograph has been joined by a variety of descendent,
music delivering devices playing recorded music -- radios and
boomboxes; reel-to-reel, 8-track, and cassette playing systems;
CD players and Walkmans; computers, iPods, streaming devices --
and in every era the phonograph has been playing its records.
All devices playing recorded
music have many connections with the phonograph, like repeating
the phonograph's original promise to consumers of playing sound
and music for anyone, as if it's just for them, anytime, and as
an experience that could be called the "best
seat in the house."
The history of the phonograph
is a continuum and the foundation of recorded music history is
where the phonograph distinguishes its legacy. What makes the
phonograph's continuum unique and really interesting is that the
Voyager spacecraft has been travelling interstellar space with
a phonograph record on board that has
the mind-bending possibility of existing
longer than humans on Earth.
An awesome factola
to be sure.
Below is a link to the 2015 video
launching Apple Music followed by screenshots and some
additional details related to the one minute and 36 second presentation
of Apple's History of Sound: 127 years of Recorded Music.
APPLE'S HISTORY OF SOUND
few details about 1888.
With attention refocused on the
phonograph, Edison and his assistants on June 16, 1888 "completed
Edison's first commercial phonograph, which is generally known
as the PERFECTED Phonograph." (1).
Edison's Phonograph recording
at The Crystal Palace, August 4, 1888 Scientific American
On June 29, 1888, Handel's Israel
in Egypt was recorded at The Crystal Palace in London, the
earliest known recording of classical music.
May 26, 1888 Scientific
July 14, 1888 Scientific
American (Wikimedia Commons)
to "The Lost Chord" (Edison National Historic Site)
The Lost Chord
Performed by: cornet
and piano (performers unknown)
Composed by: Arthur
Record format: Edison
yellow paraffine cylinder
c. August 1888
Recorded by: Col.
ENHS object catalog
and Other Information
HISTORY OF SOUND
The opening of the Apple History
of Recorded Music begins with 1888, a phonograph close-up,
and then a machine being cranked. This machine, however, is not
Edison's PERFECTED Phonograph nor would it have been hand-cranked
or spring driven. The man is listening with a "Recording
Tube" next to his ear, whereas a listening tube (more like
earbuds) or a horn would have been the likely way for listening
to the Phonograph in 1888.
Edison 1888 with Perfected
Phonograph and listening tube in his ears, Menlo Park Laboratory,
U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Edison
National Historic Site
Edison speaking into recording
tube of the Perfected Phonograph (later illustrated in The
Illustrated London News, July 20, 1888)
Tuning in a Radio, unknown
date or model, circa 1920's.
Music Service Competitors for
Apple Music in 2015 (with a comparison by Techcrunch)
More 1888 Phonographia
Gouraud's "Little Menlo"
home in London. For more information about this home and Gouraud's
recordings see Patrick Feaster's "The
Phonograph as Toastmaster."
For an interesting
presentation featuring voices from an October 5, 1888 dinner attended
by Sir Arthur Sullivan and other guests
(3) , watch "A
dinner with Sir Arthur Sullivan" put together by Jack
Gibbons. The dinner was held at the home of George Gouraud, Edison's
representative in London, whose home was known as "Little
Menlo" and where Gouraud
demonstrated Edison's new "Perfected Phonograph."
Gibbons's video also
features other historic sound recordings from 1888, 1907 and 1912,
including recordings made by Savoyard Walter Passmore, as well
as historic movies filmed in England and Ireland in 1888, 1896,
1898, 1900 and 1903.
Colonel Gouraud and family
in their "Little Menlo" home listening to a message
on Edison's Phonograph, The Illustrated London News