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Wax cylinder collection


Here you can listen to a little sample of some of the cylinders which have been able to be played. This collection contains cylinders dated between the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century. It is believed that they were recorded before 1905. Almost all were made with clear wax. Most of them have some type of damage produced by microorganism that proliferate in extremely humid environments.

Despite all this, the value of this collection, from the point of view of the heritage, is unquestionable. It is probably the largest collection of commercial cylinders in statewide. The information provided is huge: repertoire, performers, etc. However, to the extent that the project was going ahead, some questions about the history of some of these recordings have arisen.

Listen to:


There are two Basque firms in this collection: Vda. de Ablanedo e Hijo and Almacén de Pianos, Enrique García. The difference in the number of records and in the repertoire is large: 144 vs 6 cylinders respectively. The Vda. De Ablanedo firm collected, in addition to a few phonorecords of Basque music, a great deal of cylinders with opera fragments, zarzuela, etc.; Enrique Garcia, however, recorded only a few cylinders of Basque music. After the digitalization, we have realized that many of the cylinders of Vda. De Ablanedo were actually made by the Vda. de Aramburo firm in Madrid. Are they pantographic copies? The differences in the price of some of these cylinders, much cheaper compared to the ones made by other firms, could support this hypothesis. But there are some questions left, so we hope that this material can help to open new research.

The digitalizations are shown as Franz Lechleitner picked up the signal during the cylinder playback, without any modification. Some of these files have been sent to a restoration laboratory in order to remove the noise so they can be listened to more clearly. The digitalization and the sound restoration can be compared in some of these samples.


Basque archives of music
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