mechanical reproduction of music

An image of women in rich, classical dress singing by candlelight from sheets of music was featured on the cover of the Thomas A. Edison, Inc.’ 1915 catalog for Edison Diamond Disc Phonographs. The cover has a gold decorative pattern like that of a lavish Persian manuscript. The mechanical reproduction of music thus made a royal experience accessible to many.

Mass access to extraordinary musical performances is easy to take for granted. But before about 1895, without the presence of musical instruments, for almost everyone music was just a text.

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