Worn Grooves: Affective connectivity, mobility and recorded sound in the First World War

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Abstract

Drawing from visual, material and written archival sources, this article critically explores some of the functions, uses and perceived values of recorded sound during the First World War and in its aftermath. An instrument of communication as well as commemoration, the gramophone helped bridge geographical (and, in some cases, cultural) distances between the home front and the rear, providing civilians with the fleeting illusion of presence, proximity, or even sentimental communion with the front. The article analyses (a) the affective and connective, but also propagandist, values of commercial wartime recordings as they circulated between the home and the front, (b) the popular notion of gramophones as regulatory instruments of civilisation, (c) the commemorative exploitations of recorded sound in the interwar period. The article focuses on the British experience, contrasting it with examples drawn from French and German experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-45
Number of pages20
JournalMedia History
Volume24
Issue number1
Early online date28 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

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