AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music
Best codec: FLAC 16bit 44.1kHz
Almost 5000 sound files are available via the Find Sound Files facility.
All sound files are transferred from 78rpm discs held by the King's Sound Archive at King's College London, under the CHARM transfer project and the subsequent JISC-funded 'Musicians of Britain and Ireland, 1900-1950'.
Apart from a special focus on Schubert songs, the CHARM transfers aimed to cover a broad range of performers in Classical repertoire, avoiding where possible tracks that were already widely available in CD or online reissues. ‘Musicians of Britain and Ireland’ focused on performers who recorded mainly in those countries and whose work fell out of the catalogues following the creation of EMI in 1931.
Each file transfers one side of a 78rpm disc: sides are not edited together. The transfers available for download include appropriate equalisation and light noise reduction, leaving the musical signal intact. A detailed description of the procedures used is provided by the CHARM transfer engineer, Andrew Hallifax. (Raw ('flat') transfers, and other formats, may be purchased on request from firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The sound files use the lossless FLAC format, which can be played with Winamp, Songbird and numerous other media players. For more about FLAC see below.
Selections of CHARM sound files are placed in context in the following three packages.
Records on the Radio provides a collection of BBC radio scripts from record choice programmes broadcast in the 1930s and 40s, together with the original sound illustrations.
House Conductors, by David Patmore, provides biographies and selected recordings of some of the conductors who worked for the major record companies as 'house conductors', c. 1910-35.
Cortot discoveries introduces recently discovered recordings by the great French pianist and offers guidance on how to search for more.
CHARM and the King's College Archive reproduces an article from Classic Record Collector in which David Patmore interviews Andrew Hallifax about his work as the CHARM transfer engineer.
Last modified 24th Nov 2012