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The Contributions of Thomas Edison to Music Education

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With the invention of the phonograph in 1877, Thomas Edison initiated an expansion of the musical experience. His device provided new learning opportunities for both amateur and professional musicians, in addition to people who claimed no musical background. Advertised as a musical educator, Edison’s phonograph instructed families in the home and children at school. As a result of the recording feature of Edison’s machine, distinct new methods of studying music emerged. Recordings, for example, were utilized to facilitate distance instruction, and the Edison School Phonograph offered music educators the ability to record their pupils. Recording at home, moreover, was marketed with publications that included detailed descriptions and instructive pictures of recording techniques.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society