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Earliest surviving film and sound recording 1888

 

1888, the year of the death of the composer Charles-Valentin Alkan (Chopin’s friend and neighbour) is also the year of the earliest surviving recording of music and earliest recorded film. Combined on this video is the earliest surviving recording of music (a live performance of Handel’s oratorio Israel in Egypt conducted by Sir August Manns, recorded by Edison engineer George E. Gouraud at Crystal Palace, London, England, 29th June 1888) and the earliest surviving recorded film (shot by Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince in Leeds, England in October 1888): Roundhay Garden Scene (filmed 14 October 1888) and Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge (filmed late October 1888). In the Roundhay Garden Scene (filmed in the garden of the Whitley family home in Oakwood Grange Road, Roundhay, Leeds, England) are the following people (from the left at beginning of sequence): Adolphe Le Prince (the film maker’s son), Miss Harriet Hartley, Mrs. Sarah Whitley, (the film maker’s mother-in-law), and Joseph Whitley (the film maker’s business partner). The original film was shot at 12 frames per second and lasts 2 seconds. Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge was filmed in Leeds, England in late October 1888, at 20 frames per second.

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