Tuesday 9th January 2018

The British Library





On my jack jones…

I went to the British Library for some light reading and to focus on my business development but when I got there I couldn’t help but divulge into the history of recorded sound.

The exhibition titled; L I S T E N – 140 Years of Recorded Sound took me on a journey of recorded sounds throughout the ages.

Sound. Take the time to explore it.

Just how important have the sounds of the past 140 years been to our lives?

Very important!

We listen to sound every day and this exhibition allows visitors to experience the first sounds recorded and collected by the British Library. Looking at the significance of sound since the phonograph was invented in 1877.

Starting with some fun facts, the timeline journey begins in 1877.


Thomas Edison patented the first ever Phonograph. I thought he just invented the lightbulb but to my surprise when researching, Mr. Edison was a savvy business man and one of the greatest inventors of many things we still use today.

I stepped into one of the private listening booths to hear an eclectic mix of sounds from the archive including many rare and unpublished recordings. There was lots of information about each track, the most notable one I listened to was ‘Drake ft Kyla & WizKid – One Dance’ which has been the most streamed track on Spotify to date!

The launch of the BBC iPlayer and Spotify music streaming service was paramount to the way we listen and consume music right now, this present day.

LISTEN: 140 years of recorded sound tells a story of sound recording and explores the importance of sound in history, how radio transformed society in the 20th century and how the way we listen has changed as new technologies have emerged and old ones become obselete.

You can view items from the British Library’s rarely-seen collection of players and recorders & immerse yourself in their specially-commissioned audio installation by composer Aleks Kolkowski

13 years well spent.


2017 – Radio listening on digital platforms (of all kinds) is poised to overtake analogue. Music streaming, largely using the MP3 format, outsells downloads. Voice-controlled playback devices and personalised music-on-demand have become commonplace.



Part of a Season of Sound, celebrating the British Library’s sound archive.




One thought on “L I S T E N

Leave a Reply