[foh-nuh-graf, -grahf]
or record player

Instrument for reproducing sounds. A phonograph record stores a copy of sound waves as a series of undulations in a wavy groove inscribed on its rotating surface by the recording stylus. When the record is played back, another stylus (needle) responds to the undulations, and its motions are then reconverted into sound. Its invention is generally credited to Thomas Alva Edison (1877). Stereophonic systems, with two separate channels of information in a single groove, became a commercial reality in 1958. All modern phonograph systems had certain components in common: a turntable that rotated the record; a stylus that tracked a groove in the record; a pickup that converted the mechanical movements of the stylus into electrical impulses; an amplifier that intensified these electrical impulses; and a loudspeaker that converted the amplified signals back into sound. Phonographs and records were the chief means of reproducing recorded sound at home until the 1980s, when they were largely replaced by recorded cassettes (see tape recorder) and compact discs.

Learn more about phonograph with a free trial on

Steinway-Welte player piano, 1910; in the British Piano and Musical Museum, Brentford, Middlesex, elipsis

Piano that mechanically plays music encoded as perforations on a paper roll. An early version, patented in 1897 by the American engineer E.S. Votey, was a cabinet placed in front of an ordinary piano, with wooden “fingers” projecting over the keyboard. A paper roll with perforations corresponding to the notes passed over a tracker bar to activate the release of air by pneumatic devices that set the fingers in motion; the user could control tempo and loudness by levers and pedals. Soon this mechanism was built into the piano itself. The later “reproducing piano” could reproduce the nuances of tempo and dynamics in great performances, the roll having been produced by the performance itself. After the 1920s the phonograph led to the instrument's quick decline. Modern versions, such as the Yamaha Disklavier, are operated by digital memory on a computer disk.

Learn more about player piano with a free trial on

"Player's Ball" is a 1993 song by hip hop group Outkast. It was the group's first single and was later featured on their 1994 debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. It discusses the nature of living in the South and growing up in a hip hop culture.

In its refrain the song makes reference to the Players Ball, Chicago's annual gathering of pimps.


Chart (1993) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 9
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 12
U.S. Billboard Hot Rap Tracks 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 16

External links

Search another word or see playeron Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature