Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Gramophone Music

barrynola 2
The history of recorded music is how it has progressively become cheaper and more convenient. You  don't even have to possess the physical object that holds the sound just some electronic device that can play it.  Literally bushels of songs at the fingertip. The advert is from the 1930's and the M&SE are stocking the new Barrynola gramophone. Note it is being demonstrated at a concert in one of the more salubrious suburbs of Manchester. A night out listening to records - no mention if dancing was allowed.

Interesting class dimension in that the Co-Op was appealing to not just the weekly struggle working class customer but to customers who had regular income with savings.

They were an expensive purchase not one for a struggling working family. A small portable would cost just under £3 (3 GBP), a cabinet model from £7 to £10. Then there were the new electric models using mains electricity. The new radiograms were also coming on the market, a status piece of furniture that would be desired for living rooms for the next twenty years. This was an age of developments in reproducing sound. Just as today there is that newer and better model available after you've paid your hard earned cash and taken delivery. Last year I purchased an iPod Nano that also doubles as a wrist watch. That model has been superseded, and my Zen MP3 player is ancient. We've not even gone into the junk room to find museum pieces like the Walkman.

The co-op society did hire gramophones and the Womens' and Mixed Guilds made use of such facilities to have a meeting based around listening to recorded music. I had an earlier post, it was back in 2009, about 78 rpm records that were played at Hardy Lane. It is here.

So there you have it. I'm sat on the tram listening to my own personal playlist on little ear speakers and all those years ago it was a treat of an evening in a hall hearing gramophone records.

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