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Sound recordings

This topic guide includes recommended print and online resources relating to the history of sound recording, discographies, periodicals / journals, and general reference publications relating to recorded sound. 

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History of sound recording

 The following offer excellent overviews of the history of recorded sound. They examine the technological advances in sound recording, from its inception to today's digital environment; the sound recording industry; and finally the impact recorded sound has had on performance practice.  A number of other resources have been published that go into greater detail about particular record labels, formats, or time periods, but the ones below are suggested as starting points as they cover the topic more broadly. 

2nd ed. Cambridge ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Archive of Recorded Sound » Stacks » ML1055 .M47 2005
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Music Library » Stacks » ML1055 .C36 2009
Rev. ed. Berkeley : University of California Press, c2010.
Music Library » Stacks » ML3790 .K277 2010
New and updated ed., 1st Picador ed. New York : Picador, 2011.
SAL3 (off-campus storage) » Stacks » ML3785 .R67 2011
Chapter 3 - Infernal machines: how recordings changed music (p. 55-68)
1st ed. New York : Faber and Faber, 2009.
Music Library » Stacks » ML3838 .M645 2009
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2009.
Music Library » Stacks » ML3790 .S88 2009
Westport, CT : Greenwood Press, 2004.
Green Library » Stacks » TK7881.4 .M674 2004
Farnham, Surrey ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, c2012.
Archive of Recorded Sound » Stacks » ML3790 .O825 2012

General reference

2nd ed. New York : Routledge, 2005.
Archive of Recorded Sound » Reference » ML102 .S67 E5 2005 V.1
[Oxford, England] : Oxford University Press
Stanford Libraries » Online resource » eResource
Includes Grove Music Online, The Oxford Companion to Music, and The Oxford Dictionary of Music. 
Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press [1970, c1966]
Archive of Recorded Sound » Reference » ML156.2 .C647 1970
Also available as a PDF online.  



The Archive of Recorded Sound holds the majority of discographies ever committed to print. Each publication presents inventories of recordings, commonly arranged either by record label, artist, genre, or time period. 

  1. Classic Album Sundays ; [Colleen 'Cosmo' Murphy]. 2019

  2. Georg Purvis. 2018

  3. Michael Mulligan. 2018

  4. Dave Thompson. 2018

  5. author, Stefano Piccinini. 2017

Periodicals / Journals

Fairfax, Va. : Association for Recorded Sound Collections, c1986-
Archive of Recorded Sound » Reference » ML128 .P28 A84
Quarterly journal of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections.
[London : C. Mackenzie, 1923?-
Music Library » Recordings
Monthly publication, dating back to 1923, which provides reviews of recent releases and historical reisssues. Also includes reviews of audio equipment. 
[Naperville, Ill., etc.] International Association of Jazz Record Collectors.
Archive of Recorded Sound » Reference » ML156.4 .J3 I58 V.48 2015
Quarterly journal of the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors.
Canberra, A.C.T. : IASA, c1993-[2019]
Archive of Recorded Sound » Reference » ML5 .P5742 NO.41-45 2013-2015
Semiannual journal of the International Association of Sound Archives.
[S.l.] : Media History Digital Library.
Stanford Libraries » Online resource » eResource
The Media History Digital Library contains digital scans of media periodicals and fan magazines pertaining to sound recordings from 1904 to 1963
[Washington, etc., 1934- ]
Music Library » Stacks » ML25 .M98 V.21-22:INDEX 1963-1966
Quarterly journal of the Music Library Association.
Broomfield, Eng. Record Collector.
Archive of Recorded Sound » Reference » ML156.9 .R306 V.62 2017
Quarterly journal of recorded vocal art.