From patriotic songs and sentimental ballads from the First World War era to classical vocalists and instrumentalists from the 1920s to 1940s; that is what you will find on the Library and Archives Canada website the Virtual Gramophone. This is a great place to listen to recordings from our music collection!
Our Virtual Gramophone website documents the history of the recorded sound industry in Canada, provides biographies of Canadian performers, presents a video of a working gramophone, allows you to search the database, and you can listen to some recordings.
Some of the recordings available online include:
- Patriotic songs and sentimental ballads of the First World War era
- Recordings from the rising vaudeville and jazz scenes, and the dance band craze of the 1920s
- Music from Quebec in the 1920s and 1930s, including the recordings of Madame Édouard (Mary Travers) Bolduc
- Popular music of the post-First World War era, including recordings from New Brunswick’s Henry Burr, the most prolific recording artist of his time
- Classical vocalists and instrumentalists from the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, including Emma Albani, Pauline Donalda, Sarah Fischer, and Hubert Eisdell
- Military bands, popular songs, and other material in both English and French recorded or released by the Berliner Gramophone of Montreal circa 1901 to 1910
Although the website is no longer updated, it is still a great place to access some of our digitized recordings of the 78-rpm and cylinder music collection held by Library and Archives Canada.
If you have a keen interest in Canadian music, our other websites may also be of interest:
- The Glenn Gould Archive
- Sheet Music From Canada’s Past
- Canadian Music Periodical Index
- The Virtual Gramophone: early Canadian Sound Recordings podcast
- Between the Sheets: A podcast about early Canadian Sheet Music
Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!