“Let’s set the scene. It’s February 28, 1903, and 12 musicians from the Imperial Household Orchestra are seated in front of a gramophone horn in a Tokyo hotel room. The needle slowly lowers onto a spinning blank disc and the session begins. What follows is a recording of the sound of gagaku, the oldest continuously performed orchestral music in the world that had, till then, been the reserve of Japan’s imperial court for over a thousand years. This recital is the first ever to be committed to disc, a glimpse of the past captured with a machine from the future.” – Atlas Obscura

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