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Thread: gramophone&reel

  1. #1
    suprunp's Avatar
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    gramophone&reel

    The gramophone continued. Miss Thompson put on one reel after another.
    (W.S. Maugham; Rain)

    I think that a gramophone needs a record (not a reel) to play. So, I reckon 'reel' here should mean 'a type of fast Scottish dance, or fast country dance'.
    Am I anywhere near the truth?

    Thanks.

    P.S. I've just read this:
    When she began to play on Sunday Davidson sent Horn to beg her to stop at once since it was the Lord’s day. The reel was taken off and the house was silent except for the steady pattering of the rain on the iron roof.

    If it (a reel) is something a gramophone needs to play then what kind of gramophone is this?
    Last edited by suprunp; 05-Feb-2012 at 19:09.

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    Re: gramophone&reel

    (Not a Teacher)


    I believe the earliest Gramophones played off of wax cylinders.

    Edit:

    Now that I'm looking, there seems to be no indication these cylinders were ever referred to as 'reels', so I guess the author is referring to the Scottish dance as 5jj has suggested.
    Last edited by SlickVic9000; 05-Feb-2012 at 19:31.

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    Re: gramophone&reel

    A reel is a traditional Scottish dance (tune). She had a number of records of reels.

  4. #4
    Ouisch's Avatar
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    Re: gramophone&reel

    I agree that "reel" in this case means the type of record played on the gramophone. It would be the same as saying "she played one waltz after another." In Gone with the Wind there is a scene where the band leader announces "take your places for the Virginia reel." Research shows that the Virginia reel has its roots in traditional Scottish and Irish dances.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: gramophone&reel

    And dance music on the Lord's day would have been considered inappropriate by some people.

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