This 10 second recording of a woman’s voice buried beneath a blanket of static and distortion may not seem that momentous, but it is in fact the earliest piece of recorded music.
It was originally recorded back in 1860 by Frenchman Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville using a device called the phonautograph that traced the soundwaves out on a piece of blackened paper. At the time, however, there was no way of playing back the recording. The fact that we can hear it now is thanks to the work of the First Sounds project who created a “virtual stylus” to translate Scott de Martinville’s 148 year old etchings into sound.
The song that the woman is singing is Au Clair De La Lune.