Jonathan Sterne, author of The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction is quoted in a New York Times article about the discovery of the earliest-known recording of a human voice. A group of American historians found the recording, of someone singing the folk song "Au Claire de la Lune," in a Paris archive. It predates Thomas Edison’s recording of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" by twenty years. Sterne believes the discovery of the French recording will raise the profile of Léon Scott, inventor of the phonautogram. “There is a yawning epistemic gap between us and Léon Scott, because he
thought that the way one gets to the truth of sound is by looking at
it,” says Sterne in the article.