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His Masterís Voice

J.M. Syken

Course Outline

Through the viewing of several archival/documentary films produced in the 1940s/50s, we will examine the history and development of sound recording as evidenced by the pioneer of the sound recording industry Radio Corporation of America (RCA).

We will examine the recording/manufacturing processes of early 78rpm/shellac records as well as long-play 33&1/3rd vinyl records in the post-WWII era. As well, we will examine the introduction of stereophonic records producing high-fidelity (a.k.a. Hi-Fi) recordings and the introduction of cassette cartridge tapes for recording/playback.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for architects, engineers and other design professionals.

Benefit to Attendees

The attendee/s will gain an intimate knowledge and insight into the development, innovations, technologies etc. of the sound recording industry.

Course Introduction

The course incorporates the viewing of several archival/documentary films broken down as follows;

Part 1 examines the recording of sound and production of records (at 78rpm) via shellac. Part 2 examines the post-WWII recording of sound and manufacture of 33&1/3rdrpm vinyl records. Part 3 examines the introduction of high-fidelity (stereophonic) sound and the introduction of cassette cartridge tape (as an alternate to both reel tape and/or records).

Course Content

Part 1 – A Knack for Shellac;
TITLE: Command Performance (1942)
Part 2V is for Vinyl;
TITLE: Sound and the Story (1956)
Part 3 –Hi-Fi & Convenience;
TITLE: Living Stereo / A Revolutionary Triumph in Tape (1958)

Course Summary

For much of the 20th Century, a person’s record collection was one of their most prized possessions, particularly before the advent of radio and later television. Records brought Caruso to the opera lover’s living room and gave pleasure to millions. Mass produced to meet consumer demand, recording technology steadily improved to the point where the sound recording was as good (or better) than being front-row-center in symphony hall. So too, the medium of recorded music improved steadily starting with fragile shellac then vinyl records and, eventually, cassette tapes. All for your listening pleasure.

Related Links

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Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.