[78-L] Audio Restoration saves family recording
saag at telia.com
Fri May 13 06:15:02 PDT 2011
Home recording are also of great scientific value.
I stumbled upon some "home recordings" made in Stockholm and Gothenburg
(Sweden) in the late 1930's and was stuck by how "modern" the language
was, compared to our general notion of the 1930's language. One
recording was made in a recording booth at a fun fair and, at one point,
the party assembled started to parody a radio broadcast. That
immediately changed their way of speaking, becoming more typical for how
we perceive the 1930's idiom today.
Which made me wonder: how well is everyday speech documented by our
language scientists? I decided to get in touch with he Institute for
Language and Folklore at Uppsala University in Sweden, who is managing
the collection of field recordings of dialects. It appeared that most of
these dialect recordings were made in the early years of the 20th
century, but mainly in rural areas, especially in areas where dialects
were in danger to disappear. City dialects were of minor interest, at
the time, and are poorly covered.
The conclusion was: our notion of urban language from days gone by seems
to be based mainly on recordings where the recording situation was
arranged: broadcasts, movies, spoken word recordings - there are few
documented examples of authentic, relaxed everyday conversation. And, at
least in Sweden, the home recordings on lacquers, wire and tape have yet
to collected for scientific purposes. Our National Library of Sound is
only responsible for collecting commercial recordings and broadcast
material. The few home recordings they have registered are discs that
have been donated by private persons (often found in larger collections
of 78's). And the Language departments in Universities haven't got time
to search thrift stores for new research material.
The British National Sound Library seems to have a more flexible policy
towards this type of recordings - I wonder how it is in other countries.
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