Make a donation
Free and royalty-free sounds library for yours commercial or personal projects.
English - Français
Logo of the website
Logo of the website
⚠️ BigSoundBank needs you to stay alive! Make a (small) donation ⚠️

< The blog

The Oldest Audio Recording

Frenchman Edouard-Léon Scott de Martinville was the inventor of the first device to write sound: the phonautograph. Technically, it consisted of a small rotating paper cylinder coated with lampblack, upon which a stylus traced the vibration of sound captured by a horn. Entirely graphical, it was impossible to play back these recordings during its time. The phonautograph was patented on March 25, 1857.

On April 9, 1860, Edouard-Léon Scott de Martinville recorded "Au Clair de la Lune" on his phonautograph. Therefore, he not only became the first in history to record sound, but also the creator of the oldest preserved recording (he likely made some earlier attempts, but they have been lost). It wasn't until 2008 that a team of researchers finally succeeded in playing back this recording, which you can listen to here:

If the grand history of sound fascinates you, I have begun writing a feature on the subject: l'Histoire du son (in french), which I invite you to read.

"If you have writing skills and want to help me, contact me!"


Rate, Comment!


Be the first to give an opinion!

Cut out following the dots