Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Gramophone and the Grammy

This article has an interesting look at the history of the gramophone, an early sound-reproducing machine and, of course, the device for which the Grammy awards are named. The article also ties the history of the gramophone and phonograph to the development of the iPod, and draws some interesting parallels between sound machines, then and now.

How does a gramophone differ from a phonograph? Well, that gets kind of murky: the terms haven't always referred to the same device, and different terms were used in the U.S. and in England.

The gramophone, with its distinctive large horn, is immortalized in the Grammy logo and the Grammy award itself. That horn was how sound was reproduced from the disc (or cylinder); this was before the invention of the loudspeaker, and specialized elements like woofers, subwoofers, midrange speakers, tweeters, and such.

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