A ten-second record of the performance of the French folk song ‘Au Clair de la Lune’, considered the oldest of a human voice, turns 160 on Tuesday, April 9.
The audio which can be heard on this link dates from 1860 and corresponds to the French printer, bookseller and writer Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, inventor of the phonoautograph, the first sound recording device.
It is the oldest known recorded human voice, prior to Thomas Edison’s first phonograph recording of 1877. The phonoautograph, created by recording soot-coated paper and designed only to record sounds, could later be reproduced by American scientists using a ‘stylus. virtual ‘to read the lines.
Initially, the recording was believed to be the voice of a woman or a teenager, but later research in 2009 suggested that the playback speed had been too high and was actually Scott’s own voice. This is because it is easier to time if the same person recording is producing the sound, according to firstsounds.org.