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Playing gramophone records


A gramophone (also called phonograph, record player, or turntable) is a mechanical device used for playing gramophone records.[1]



Remus Lupin dropping the needle on his gramophone.

C. Gilbert & Co. Ltd. was a Muggle gramophone manufacturer based in Sheffield, England, which operated from 1922 to approximately 1931.[2] Remus Lupin owned a gramophone from their Geisha line.[2][3] In 1993, he played his copy of Witchita Banana on this gramophone during a third-year Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson on Boggarts, helping put students at ease while they confronted their greatest fears.[3]

In preparation for the Yule Ball in 1994Minerva McGonagall gave a dance lesson to Gryffindors, having Argus Filch play a copy of Wizard Waltz on a large, magical gramophone.[4][5]

One time in 1997, when Harry Potter knocked on the door of Horace Slughorn's office, hoping to get the memory of Tom Riddle and Horcruxes from him, he heard what he was sure were the quickly stifled sounds of an old gramophone.[6]

Behind the scenes

  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, Harry Potter and Hermione Granger ran around in the Forbidden Forest to repair a gramophone to call Remus Lupin in werewolf form.
  • Though the terms "gramophone" and "phonograph" are used nearly interchangeably today to describe a disc-playing machine, in the past they had distinct meanings. "Phonograph" was intended to describe Thomas Edison's cylinder machine, while Emile Berliner's invention using flat discs was trademarked as a "gramophone". British English tends to use "gramophone" to describe a windup disc-playing machine, while American English will use "phonograph" or "Victrola."
  • Since most modern record players operate on electricity, they are presumably rendered inoperable in the presence of magic, like most other electric such as telephones and computers. Witches and wizards presumably use mechanical windup gramophones which require no electricity to amplify sound and rotate the turntable. These play 78 RPM shellac discs and are incapable of playing slower-speed vinyl records. In real-life, Shellac 78 production largely ceased in the 1960s, being superceded by vinyl. This possibly limits the type of Muggle music available to wizards with gramophones.
  • Several gramophones were provided for filming by Howard Hope: Gramophones & Phonographs.[7]


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