Music
Paul McCartney and Wings in concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, 1976.

Sunday quiz: on vinyl records

Without music, life would be a mistake: Nietzsche

Sunday quiz: on vinyl records

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1. On September 26, 1887, Emile Berliner applied for a patent for his invention. Earlier, a contest had developed between Thomas Alva Edison and the Volta Laboratory team of Chichester A. Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter in a bid to transform Edison’s 1877 tinfoil talking machine into an instrument that could be used as a business correspondence device. Both were using a wax cylinder, and Berliner came up with a disc made of zinc coated with beeswax. He coined a name for it as an improvement on Edison’s phonograph. What did Berliner invent that revolutionised the world of music?

Answer :

Gramophone

1. Two of the most important and famous records in the known universe are aboard the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecrafts. They feature musical selections from different cultures and eras, spoken greetings in 55 languages, sounds of water, animals and chatter. Instructions, in symbolic language, explain the origin of the spacecraft and how the record is to be played. Currently about 12 billion miles away from Earth, what material are the records made of, which gives them their names?

Answer :

The Golden Records (Gold)

1. The very first 12-inch recording was released by RCA Victor in 1931. Victor’s new vinyl-based polyvinyl chloride (PVC) compound, which was used for this recording, provided a much quieter playing surface compared to the shellac typically used for 78s. This became so popular that ‘vinyl’ became a generic term for records. The very first recording was of an iconic piece of music known for its easily identifiable beginning. Usually described as ‘Da-da-da daaah’ or ‘Fifth Symphony’, whose music was the first on vinyl?

Answer :

Beethoven

1. In 1949, RCA introduced seven-inch-wide 45-rpm disks that were more durable and more easily portable than the heavy shellac 78-rpm discs. They were also cheap to make and to buy, which made them easy to market to teenagers in the mid-1950s. A 45 was also the best to use in radio stations and jukeboxes. If a band wanted its music to become popular, it needed to fit on a 45 disc. This led to the birth of ‘pop’ music as we know it. What still-important feature of pop music has its origins in the physical limitations of a 45 disc?

Answer :

Pop songs are three minutes long. (Maximum time limit on a 45 rpm record)

1. This word originates in jazz slang, referring to music that’s swinging, tight, funky, in the pocket. The analogy is to a unique attribute in a vinyl record. Basically, the musicians are so together that it’s like they’re the needle guided by this attribute. What word is this that’s often used in reviews of live concerts or hit songs?

Answer :

Groovy!

1. Red Rose Speedway was the second album by Paul McCartney and Wings. Its front cover shows McCartney with a Harley Davidson. At the back, on the bottom of the cover, there is a secret message that says ‘We love ya baby!’. This was intended for Stevie Wonder, who was a friend of the band. How was the message embedded in the cover, which made it special for people with a certain disability?

Answer :

Embossed in Braille (Stevie Wonder is a visually impaired musician)

1. On Earth Day 2010, the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute teamed up with the band Portugal. The Man to create an ‘endangered’ song produced on only 400 records. It is ‘the first song meant to go extinct unless it’s reproduced’. These 400 refer to the critically endangered P t.sumatrae species. What species that’s only present in Sumatra in Indonesia, and whose closest cousin is the ‘Royal Bengal’, is this record about?

Answer :

Sumatran Tiger

1. Zoviet France is a band from Newcastle that makes ambient dissonant music made of industrial textures. They are known for interesting releases such as records made from hessian, tar paper and aluminium foil. In 2012, they released an album with three records that were 7-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch respectively. The name of the album is the date on which it was released, written in numerals. On what date was it released, and what was its name?

Answer :

October 7, 2012 and 7.10.12

1. The Planets, Op. 32, is a seven-movement orchestral suite by the English composer Gustav Holst, released in 1920. It’s one of the most popular classical music records ever. Each movement is named after a planet of the Solar System and its corresponding astrological character, as defined by Holst. Two planets that are left out are Earth and Pluto. Why were they left out?

Answer :

Pluto hadn’t been discovered then (February 1930) and Earth is not a part of astrology.

1. The ELP LT-1000 is a Japanese vinyl player that costs $15,000 and promises two things. It can read any black-coloured vinyl record, and it will never damage the record. Damage from contact with the needle is one of the biggest drawbacks of record players. What does this player use to read the record?

Answer :

A laser. It’s a laser vinyl player

Sunday quiz: on vinyl records

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