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Ali Jihad Racy „Record Industry and Egyptian Traditional Music: 1904-1932”

„Ethnomusicology”, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Jan., 1976) pdf

Egyptian phonograph history and recordings made only before the mid-1930s have been examined here. I have discussed the crop of recordings made during what may be considered the phonograph era in Egypt. The closing year of this era is roughly the year 1932. The choice of this date is prompted by several historical and musical factors that had crucially challenged the efficacy of the disc in Egyptian musical life. For example, April 14, 1932, marked the premiere of the first Egyptian musical film. This is the film described earlier in this paper. In Egypt the musical film functioned as the most popular and effective medium of musical dissemination that drove the disc to a second position. The decline in the role of disc manufacture and sale around 1931 was a world-wide phenomenon that undoubtedly affected Egypt because most Egyptian discs were manufactured by European companies. In addition, the popularity of the phonograph in Egypt was seriously hampered by private radio stations, which mushroomed all over the country during the late 1920s and early 1930s culminating with the opening of the Egyptian National Radio Station on May 31, 1934. Consequently, film production and the radio transmission of music not only diminished the importance of the disc as a mass medium, but also seriously competed with the record company as a major musical institution. In a sense the early 1930s may thus be regarded as the beginning of a new post-phonograph era in Egypt.

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