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January1–7

National Silent Record Week – January 1-7, 2023

National Silent Record Week is celebrated from January 1 to 7 annually. It invites all Americans to enjoy silent records, or just some plain ol’ peace and quiet. Silent records, as the name suggests, are silent recordings. The idea behind them is to appreciate and understand when to be silent and not be afraid of things being quiet. National Silent Record Week offers Americans a chance to be purely silent for a change and declutter their minds. The week-long event began in 1960, a year after jukeboxes at the University of Detroit began offering a selection of silent records.

History of National Silent Record Week

Recording sounds began in 1877, thanks to the invention of the phonograph. Technically, Thomas Edison is responsible for the bloom of the sound recording era. This era saw sound recorders physically etching analogs of sound waves onto a surface. However, these early devices have a recording limit within the audible sound spectrum. 1925 saw the advent of electrical recording equipment designed by Western Electric. A broader range of audible sound could now be recorded, amplified, filtered, and balanced electronically. This period was referred to as the Electric Era.

The Magnetic Era began in 1945, post the Second World War, when the allied powers were able to get their hands on the German invention of magnetic tape recording. This new technology was slowly adopted and eventually led to the invention of stereo-recording. Multi-track tape recording was eventually made possible. The present era of sound recording — the Digital Era — has borne witness to changes and the development of technology at a never-before-seen speed. Sound waves, for the first time ever, were not recorded as analogs of sound, but small, discrete samples of sounds. Sony, in collaboration with Philips, created the very first compact disk (C.D.) to store recorded sound. The C.D. took the recording world by storm till the beginning of the 21st century. The advent of digital audio files, though, has made audio C.D.s virtually obsolete. Today, people listen to music in a variety of ways, from using the latest streaming apps to classic vinyl records.

Silent records have been a thing for decades now. As the name suggests, these recordings are completely silent, offering buyers and listeners the chance to enjoy dedicated minutes of silent peace. January 11, 1960, saw one of the first silent concerts and recording sessions at the Cass Theater. The same year also saw the very first Silent Record Week, a year after jukeboxes in the University of Detroit began offering a selection of silent records.

National Silent Record Week timeline

1877
Phonograph Invention

Thomas Edison invents the phonograph.

1925
Digital Recording

Digital recording is made possible by Western Electric.

1959
Silent Recordings

The University of Detroit offers silent records in jukeboxes across the campus.

1960
The First National Silent Record Week

National Silent Record Week is celebrated for the first time.

National Silent Record Week FAQs

Is there a sound of silence?

There is no place on Earth that is completely devoid of sound, thus silence often comes with ambient noises.

What noise is best for sleep?

Pink noise is best to help you fall asleep.

What do normal people hear in silence?

People tend to hear phantom noises in silence.

National Silent Record Week Activities

  1. Listen to a silent record

    Spend the week enjoying minutes of silence. Listen to a silent record or recording.

  2. Look up the history of silent records

    Silent records are fascinating. Spend some time learning about them.

  3. Do something in silence

    Allow some peace and quiet for yourself by doing an activity in silence. Read a book, meditate, take a nap, whatever you’d like!

5 Interesting Facts About Silence

  1. Concentration

    Silence helps people concentrate.

  2. Creativity

    Silence and isolation often help boost creativity.

  3. Calmness

    Silence helps people experience a sense of calm.

  4. Brain growth

    Silence reportedly aids brain growth.

  5. Sleep and silence

    Silence can enhance sleep and lessen insomnia.

Why We Love National Silent Record Week

  1. It’s a unique activity

    Listening to silent recordings is relatively unique. National Silent Record Week is a perfect opportunity to try it out.

  2. It highlights the importance of silence

    Silence has many benefits. National Silent Record Week highlights its importance.

  3. It’s an opportunity to enjoy silence

    Tired of the “loudness” of everyday life? National Silent Record Week is the perfect opportunity to slow down and enjoy silence for a bit.

National Silent Record Week dates

YearDateDay
2023January 1Sunday
2024January 1Monday
2025January 1Wednesday
2026January 1Thursday
2027January 1Friday
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