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Gramophone record

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Witchita Banana

Witchita Banana, a wizarding gramophone record, being played on Remus Lupin's gramophone.

A gramophone record (also called a phonograph record in American English) was an analog sound storage format relying on undulating grooves spiraled on a flat disc.[1]


Records are generally divided into two variants:

  • Shellac records are named after their rotation speed of about 78 revolutions per minute (RPM). Common sizes for 78s are ten inches for two to three minute singles or twelve inches for longer five to six minute symphonic works. These were manufactured from the turn of the century until their phasing-out in the 1960s. They are played on mechanical gramophones.
  • A vinyl record, or simply a vinyl, is made from polyvinyl chloride. Long-play (LP) records are the most common, playing at 33 rpm. These are generally twelve inches wide, although ten-inch varieties exist. These can typically hold twenty minutes of music per side and are also known as albums. The seven-inch kind is also called a 45, in reference to its rotation speed, and is typically used for three to four minute singles.[2] Vinyl records were first introduced to the public in the 1950s and continue to be manufactured in the present day. These are typically played on electrically powered turntables.

Vinyl records are unable to be effectively played on mechanical gramophones as the machines are designed to run at faster speeds. In addition, the soft vinyl is unable to withstand the same harsh tracking forces designed for harder shellac.

Known users

See also

Notes and references

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