Cylinder of the Month


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An early recording of the hammered dulcimer – Ain't Dat a Shame Medley from 1908.


Ain't Dat a Shame Medley
 
Company Edison's National Phonograph Company
Cylinder # 8021
Category Dulcimer solo
Title Ain't Dat a Shame Medley
Performed by William Moriarity
Circa 1908
Announcement "Dulcimer solo, 'Ain't Dat a Shame Medley', played by William Moriarity.  Edison record."
 

During this period in the early recording industry, many somewhat off-the-mainstream musical instruments were exercised in front of the recording horn in solo performances.   In record company catalogs, one could find recordings of popular tunes rendered by Zither, Ocarina, Concertina, Bagpipes, Metalophone – not to mention the more common Bassoon, Piccolo, Bass & Alto Flute, Bells, Chimes, Guitar, Mandolin, and Accordion.   Oddly, the pervasive piano was rarely a featured soloist on wax cylinders.   Some instruments just recorded better than others.

Here the hammered dulcimer gets its two minutes of fame.   Edison recorded six dulcimer solos on two-minute wax cylinders.   The dulcimer generally recorded well except, as you will hear, in the higher registers.

To hear Ain't Dat a Shame Medley   —

For help playing these sounds, click here.


— This cylinder is from the collection of Al Menashe —

                                       


To hear other examples of wax cylinders, see the


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