Revolutions in Sound Recording OpenCourseWare: The Open University's Free Undergraduate Sound Recording Class

Published Feb 24, 2009

RSS Feed

'Revolutions in Sound Recording,' a free course from The Open University, offers the opportunity for students to learn about the history of sound recording, with emphasis placed on the dramatic changes the industry saw every time a new technology was introduced While this course is not credit bearing, there is a similar course which meets the requirements of the university's Bachelor of Arts in Humanities program and the Bachelor of Science in Technology program.

Revolutions in Sound Recording: Course Specifics:

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes Yes No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes No

Revolutions in Sound Recording: Course Description

Since the first recording of the human voice 125 years ago, people have been transfixed at the way something as inert as a machine could reproduce the sounds of a living, breathing human. From the phonograph to sound reproduction via magnetic tape, 'Revolutions in Sound Recording' can introduce students not only to the history of recording, but to the technologies and people behind the advancement from what started as Edison's tinfoil cylinder. The course, which could supplement a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science program, follows the various versions of the phonograph until the discovery that magnetic media (tapes) could also be used to store and reproduce sounds. Just as the technology for the phonograph advanced over the years, so too did the technology by which music was stored on tape. The course chronicles the advancement from a simple device which employed a wire and a brass drum to compact cassettes and high fidelity studio recorders. The course consists of a set of readings, with associated activities that include audio samples. Activity number one is optional, since it requires the use of a computer microphone and software to record from it.

The readings and activities are free at the course website. If you'd like to take this course, visit the recording revolutions course page.

Featured School Choices: