52 Weeks of personal history and genealogy: Week 9 Sounds – a reflection

Grandma calls me her bonnie wee bairn as I lie on the couch while she brushes my hair. The rise and fall of the silver hairbrush makes a clicking Not my grandmother's gramophone but similar.noise as soothing as the brushing itself. Afterwards we’ll share a treat.

There’s a clunk as the lid rests back on its hinges. A heavy record is selected from the big black folders under the turntable. Fingers, mice-like, skitter through the needle recess, select one, and insert it into the turned-aside head. She turns the crank-arm with its dull steady sound. Slowly we hear the turntable revolving. Her hand lifts up the music arm, turns the head vertically and rests it gently on the heavy record. We first hear the crackle of the needle finding its groove and then the thrilling skirl of the pipes playing traditional Scottish tunes. We both smile with happiness.

YouTube offers the opportunity to see gramophones working and hear similar tunes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVL4VHkCZqo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC–LCkLugE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDBHX7GVJfs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cYrrV9vKfM

The record-playing part of the gramophone