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Title: Malta’s lost voices : the early recording of Maltese folk and popular music, 1931-32
Authors: Alamango, Andrew
Keywords: Folk music -- Malta -- 20th century
Sound recording industry -- Malta -- History
Music -- Malta
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: University of Malta. Department of History
Citation: Alamango, A. (2011). Malta’s lost voices: the early recording of Maltese folk and popular music, 1931-32. Journal of Maltese History, 2(2), 54-58
Abstract: The early recording of Maltese folk and popular music in the interwar period is a largely forgotten, yet significant part of local, musicological and socio-political history. Almost erased from local memory, through the gradual demise of the obsolete playback machines and the shellac and vinyl records, is a story of music and musicians, who along with local agents and international record labels, made history by documenting local music in the vernacular, or local dialect prevalent at the time. The impetus to record Maltese music came in early 1931, when the music establishments in Valletta were thriving businesses. At the time, music played back on 78rpm records and gramophones was a popular pastime. The music on the Maltese records attests to a vibrant musical activity present in Malta at the time. The local journals and newspapers gave witness to an unfolding phenomenon, which would entertain the people for decades to come. At the time, these records in the Maltese language caused quite a stir in various levels of society, as some even spurned their quality and content. Indeed the music and culture recorded on these discs, coupled with the technological commodity of playback machines, would act as a self-reflective tool, as, for the first time, the local folk heard their own music played back to them.
ISSN: 2077-4338
Appears in Collections:JMH, Volume 2, No. 2 (2011)
JMH, Volume 2, No. 2 (2011)

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