Century Old Sound Recording Found in Iceland Skip to content

Century Old Sound Recording Found in Iceland

The second-oldest preserved sound recording in Iceland was found in Siglufjördur in the north of the country in June. It was made between1906 and 1909 and is believed to contain oldest recorded popular melody in Iceland.


Phonograph wax cylinders. Source: Wikipedia.

A man is heard singing “Thad liggur svo makalaust ljómandi á mér” (“I’m in such an incredibly good mood”), which has remained a popular party song to this day, and Sigurdur Aegisson, who tracked down the recording, believes the singer is Rev. Bjarni Thorsteinsson, who wrote the lyrics to the song, Morgunbladid reports.

Phonograph cylinders, the earliest available commercial medium for recording was used to make the recording. The equipment comprised of dark-colored wax cylinders for publishing individual songs, which after being packaged were the singles of their time, and light-colored cylinders for recording.

The wax cylinders were well preserved; they were kept in a case stored in the same house since 1906. They were sent to Vienna in September for copying but will be preserved by the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies.


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