Nadeltonplatte des TRI-ERGON-Tonverfahrens zum Film "Zwei Herzen im 3/4 Takt" (D 1929/30); Foto: J. Leopold
Nadeltonplatte des TRI-ERGON-Tonverfahrens zum Film "Zwei Herzen im 3/4 Takt" (D 1929/30); Foto: J. Leopold

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The collection of sound carriers comprises music from a wide variety of genres, tape-recorded protocols, recordings of conversations with filmmakers, or film sounds such as the sound of a ladder falling over, the roar of the surf, the cry of the cuckoo in the woods, and other background noises.

An independent section of the collections department since 2010, the sound carrier archive houses a wide range of audio materials and carrier media that provide insight into the history and development of sound storage and playback since the 19th century. In mechanical music machines such as the "orchestrionette" (a smaller version of the orchestrion), perforated sheet metal plates were used to store music data on so-called "music rolls", which were also used in other machines that worked on a mechanical/pneumatic basis and read the information stored on such rolls. Sound recording and playback made a considerable leap forward with the advent of wax cylinders - also known as phonograph cylinder records, an invention of Thomas Alva Edison - that were replaced by shellac records (the predecessor of today's vinyl records) several decades later. Different types of optical sound recordings - which were particularly important to the development of film sound - can be found in the film collection on various materials. Likewise, the collection contains magnetic recordings on several magnetic tape formats as well as digital recordings on CDs or DAT tapes. Among the archive's most precious items are sound-on-disc recordings that were produced and used to accompany silent films - so-called phonograph discs.

Contact person: Jörg Leopold