This is an extraordinary find Bande Mataram sung by India’s greatest poet Rabindranath Tagore.
Hemendra Mohan Bose (1864-1916) opened the Talking Machine Hall in Kolkata, a shop where one could get one’s voice recorded. Bose was a sound recording expert and also had an agency to sell Edison and Pathe brand phonograph machines in Kolkata. Many great writers, poets and political leaders would visit him and he would record their recitations and speeches.
A 1906 catalogue lists several cylinder recordings of Rabindranath Tagore.
Most of these cylinders have been lost. Some museums have broken or damaged copies of cylinders as artefacts but no audible sound can be extracted from them.
During agitations against the partition of Bengal in 1905, H Bose recorded many political speeches and songs, such as Bande Mataram, both on phonographs and disc records, and they became very popular. But his factory and shops were sealed, machines and discs destroyed ruthlessly by police. As a result, nothing has survived today except a very short piece from Bande Mataram, sung by Tagore.
Also the National Grand Record label produced a disc. On it was recorded a speech by Babu Surendranath Banerjee, on the partition of Bengal.
These recordings have been uploaded by Asim Duttaroy