Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
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Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
May 20
Can You Guess?
Emile Berliner became interested in flight late in  life and worked on another invention.  The Wright Brothers invented the airplane in 1903. Can You Guess what flight related invention Berliner worked on?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
What Else
Emile Berliner, the inventor of the gramophone, died August 3, 1929 at age 78.

Berliner was born in Wolfenbuttel, near Hanover, Germany May 20, 1851.  His family included 10 children.  He left school in 1865 and worked in a textile shop.  There he was able to use his first invention, a power loom. then emigrated to the United States in 1870, and he worked in a dry goods store in Washington, DC, but was always interested in tinkering and inventing. 
Emile Berliner
In the summer of 1876, Berliner attended an exhibition in Philadelphia celebrating the 100th anniversary of the American Revolution. There he saw Alexander Graham Bell’s first telephone.  Unfortunately, during the demonstration the transmitted message was not clear.  Although the telephon'e receiver was adequate, it needed a better transmitter.

Berliner set up an electrical lab in his apartment and started experiments to try to build a better transmitter for the telephone to improve its sound quality.  In 1876 he developed a microphone.  Bell was impressed and hired Berliner.  Berliner worked with the American Bell Telephone Company for six years.

Sound and electricity continued to fascinate him, and Berliner began work on a device to reproduce sound in 1886.  In 1887 he patented the gramophone, which played back sounds recorded on flat disks of celluloid.  The disks would later be made of hardened rubber and then several other substances.  In 1888 Berliner gave a successful lecture-demonstration at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The first machines were hand cranked, later motors were added to provide easier and more reliable and consistent operation.   Throughout the 1890s Berliner improved his invention and was involved in several companies to produce them

Records, tapes, CD's and DVD's are all descendants of the gramophone.   Actually descendents of the gramophone.
1876 - First US performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony by the New York Philharmonic.

1896 - Death of pianist, composer, teacher Clara Wieck Schumann (wife of Robert Schumann).

1910 - First European tour of The Metropolitan Opera.
Click her for sound clips of the Met!

1920 - Birth of pianist Hephiibah Menuhin (sister of violinist Yehudi Menuhin). Sound clips of the two playing together here!

1944 - Birth of singer Joe Cocker.

1945 - Cherilyn Sarkasian LaPier was born. Became famous as "Cher."

1967 - Jimi Hendrix signed a US record contract.

1971 - Peter Frampton started a solo care

Did You Guess?
Emile Berliner and his son developed a helicopter
Speaking in Strings
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Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg's Music.
A Great Refrigerator Magnet
Emile Berliner Helicopter
Berliner was also very involved in work in several other fields.  He did a great deal of work in the field of health care.  Berliner was also a developer of the accoustic tile.

Berliner died August 3, 1929

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Did You Guess?
Emile Berliner and his son developed a helicopter