Sound Recordings

Vinyl record sales have growing for the past 15 years.

Vinyl Records Outsell CDs for First Time Since 1987

Music lovers in the United States bought 41 million vinyl albums and 33 million CDs in 2022

Scan of a porpoise head showing the phonic lips, which help produce echolocation clicks, and the round, fatty melon that conducts sound into the water

Some Whales Use a Creaky 'Vocal Fry' Voice to Find Food

Like humans, toothed whales have three vocal registers: chest, falsetto and vocal fry

Astronomers and musicians have developed “sonifications” to bring the symphony of the cosmos to a wider audience.

What Does the Universe Sound Like?

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and other researchers have melded astronomy and music to offer a new oeuvre

Alexander Graham Bell circa 1910

The Smithsonian Will Restore Hundreds of the World's Oldest Sound Recordings

They were made by Alexander Graham Bell and his fellow researchers between 1881 and 1892

NASA's Perseverance rover takes a selfie on September 10, 2021.

Listen to the Sound of a Dust Devil Swirling Around on Mars

For the first time, scientists have recorded the noise of a Martian dust storm using a microphone on NASA's Perseverance rover

Stephen Sondheim sitting in a recording control room in 1987

Stephen Sondheim’s Lost College Musical Was Found Hidden in Plain Sight

Live recordings from "Phinney's Rainbow" had been sitting on a journalist's bookshelf for years

In 1966, the Beatles released Revolver, an album that was scores more experimental than their previous work.

The Beatles' 'Revolver' Reissue Is Here—With a Little Help From A.I.

New technology offers new insights into the 1966 album's 14 tracks and 2 singles

Scientists recorded 50 species of turtles making vocalizations.

Scientists Thought These 53 Species Were Silent. Now, They’ve Recorded Their Sounds

Vocal communication may have evolved from a common ancestor some 407 million years ago

The “Ole Bull” Stradivarius, made in 1687, photographed with flowers and props reminiscent of a Dutch still life from the period.

When It Comes to String Instruments, Stradivariuses Are Still Pitch Perfect

Even after three centuries of their existence, the violins spark debate over what makes their sound special

The enigmatic John Smith Hurt, shown in 1966, was a pioneer of the vital American art form known as Mississippi Delta blues.

A Pilgrimage to Honor a Blues Legend

With a mysterious memento from long ago in hand, a devoted fan of the blues artist Mississippi John Hurt returns to the Delta

Jim Metzner recording on Great Gull Island

In Thousands of Recordings, Jim Metzner Collected Sounds From Around the World

The Library of Congress has acquired the prolific radio producer's full body of work

The artificial intelligence has looked for patterns between audio recordings and the brain activity of people listening to those recordings. 

By Reading Brainwaves, an A.I. Aims to Predict What Words People Listened to

The research is a long way off from practical use, but researchers hope it might one day aid communication for people who experienced brain injuries

Notre-Dame’s oldest bell, Emmanuel, dates back to the 15th century and rings in F sharp.

The Secret Sounds of Notre-Dame's Bells

An artist is live streaming the bells' imperceptible vibrations, which reflect the city around them

The new study suggests a distinction in our brains between instrumental music and vocal music. 

Some Neurons in Your Brain Respond to Singing but Not Other Music

Researchers tested 15 participants’ responses to 165 different noises, including toilet flushing, road traffic, instrumental music, speaking and singing

Vivian Carter (center) and her husband, Jimmy Bracken (far right), launched Vee Jay Records in 1953.

The Black Record Label That Introduced the Beatles to America

Over its 13-year run, Vee Jay built a roster that left a lasting impact on every genre of music

Out of 250,000 known marine species, scientists suspect all 126 marine mammals emit sound.

Scientists Propose the Creation of a Global Aquatic Sound Library

The first-ever international audio collection of aquatic ecosystems would aim to uncover unidentified fish species, discover regional dialects and more

One of the species Stewart captured on audio is the Panamanian Golden Frog, a once-common species now rarely seen in the wild.

Listen to These Amazing Sounds of Lost Places and Animals Within Them

Prolific audio naturalist Martyn Stewart has released a free collection of his remarkable recordings before his passing

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This Missouri Company Still Makes Cassette Tapes, and They Are Flying Off the Factory Floor

National Audio Company is the largest manufacturer in the world for this retro sound

The barking owl is one of the 53 endangered bird species featured on the album.

Bird Call Album Flies Over Taylor Swift on Australian Pop Charts

<em>Songs of Disappearance</em> soars to the number-three spot as Australians show support for endangered bird species

Numerous books, films and other works first published in 1926 enter the public domain on January 1.

Winnie-the-Pooh, an Ernest Hemingway Classic and a Massive Library of Sound Recordings Will Enter the Public Domain on January 1

Works newly available to copy, republish and remix in 2022 also include poems by Langston Hughes and Dorothy Parker

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