Published: 09th April 2022
What happened on April 9: Human voice is recorded for the first time, a victory is documented
The day celebrates innovations and bravery. A battle takes place in India and almost a century later, on the same day, a unique invention surfaces in France
Playback singing is at the heart of Indian cinema, isn’t it? But did you know that recording the human voice became possible only in 1860? It was on April 9 that the human voice was recorded for the first time. Who was behind this amazing feat? Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville, a French bookseller, painter and inventor. He invented the phonautograph, on which, a 20-second voice clip was recorded. It was the voice of a person singing Au Clair de la Lune, a classic French folk tune.
The phonautograph is the earliest known device for recording sound. However, it could only record and not play the recording back. The device transcribed sound waves as an undulating line traced on smoke-blackened paper or glass. Edouard Martinville acquired the patent for it on March 25, 1857, and then, the experiment began.
Not very long ago, on March 9, 2008, the recordings of the phonautograph were successfully played by optically scanning the recorded lines and using a computer to process the scans into digital audio files. It was the first time in 150 years that the sound was played since its recording. Wow!
A victorious siege
In the Anglo-Mysore wars, Tipu Sultan, or Tipu Sahib, has achieved numerous feats. One such feat is celebrated on April 9, when he had laid a successful military siege in the Bednore region in India. This was during the second Anglo-Maratha war in 1783. The British had captured Bednore (modern-day Nagara) and other parts of the Malabar Coast. Brigadier-General Richard Matthews was in command of the region when Tipu Sultan came with his soldiers, fought it out and forced the British troops to retreat.
The battle took place in a vast, open plain in front of Bednore and lasted till April 24, when a ceasefire was agreed on. On April 28, the British garrison marched out of the place, granting the Indians a victory. That is history. Irrespective of what our textbooks tell us!
What’s in a name?
Heard that phrase before? Then give thanks to Shakespeare. But the Bard’s opinion should be taken very seriously today, because April 9 is the National Name Yourself Day in the US. But we are going to celebrate it anyway because, why not? It can be celebrated all around the world by anyone who has ever wished for a different name. Have you? Then just name yourself something else.
Introduce yourself or place an order at a café with a different name. Sounds like great fun, doesn’t it? But that’s not all. Studies show that there’s a link between someone’s name and their personality. So if you think naming yourself so-and-so is going to make you feel more like a funny or serious person, go ahead and try it. We dare you!