U.S. researchers discovered a sound recording from 1860. It is probably the world’s oldest audible recording of a human voice. Read more and listen to how it sounds!
According to the encyclopaedia, it was Thomas Edison who designed the first sound recorder. His recitation of “Mary had a little lamb” from 1877 has been considered the oldest surviving recording.
Though, U.S. researchers have found a recording from 1860, which is 17 years older than Edison.
It is a ten-second long piece of music in which an unknown singer performs a verse from the French folk song “Au Clair de la Lune”.
Now everyone can hear how it sounded. An audio file of the song can be downloaded via the web. (See below – Swedish article, Link: “Lyssna till inspelningen” / or “Au Clair de la Lune” and scroll down)
Fascinating is that the French inventor Leon Scott who made the recording at that time, was not able to listen to what he recorded.
He had constructed a device called “fonoautograf” which recorded sound waves using a funnel and a pen. His purpose was to explore how different sounds seemed purely graphically.
Article in Ny Teknik (in Swedish)
Au Clair de la Lune (April 9, 1860) etc.
For more information (in English) on historic early sound recordings, go to First Sounds (an informal collaborative of audio historians, recording engineers etc. who aim to make mankind’s earliest sound recordings available to all people.