The Alan Kelly Matrix Listings.



Alas, Alan Kelly passed away in 2015. As yet,

there is no news as to when – or even if – his invaluable

listings may become available again.


It is fervently hoped that somehow, his monumental work, carried out over many decades,

will re-appear, both as an invaluable Reference Archive, and not least as a fitting tribute to

his great service to world discography.  





The slightly edited text below, here since 2009, has been left in place, so that anyone not yet familiar with his work can see and understand the immense scope and value of his achievements.








Dear Mr …………..


Although I intend that copies of my Working Files should remain available to anyone who would like to purchase one, I am afraid that I am unable to continue to produce individual labelled CDs.  There are several reasons for this.  First, since I am not a dealer but merely a retired academic who has reached the age of 81, and who works more or less alone, I would like to reduce the amount of work involved.  I would also like to reduce the effects of variations in currency values and the large rise in postal charges, without having to increase the price per set of files.  I have also been advised that paper labels on CDs tend to show air bubbles in time and that this may make the discs unreadable.  Further, my new computer refuses to recognise any of my old label files and I do not have the heart to begin again from scratch.  In any case, I believe that with this type of information and with the vast increase in hard disc capacity and the consequent drop in cost, the advised method of use is to copy the files to your own hard disc and to keep the original as backup.  This enables you to access directly from the keyboard, to remove the read only attribute and to save any alterations or corrections you may wish to make.


Instead of selling discs containing files I intend to sell the files themselves – using discs only as a means of delivery for delivery.  This means that if you order MAT101 and MAT102 you will recive a CD containing all the files which would have been on those two original discs.  The catalogue numbers, prices and contents remain unchanged and there is no extra charge for postage.  One CD will probably contain all the files in even a large order, although a second might be required sometimes.


The price in sterling for British purchasers is £10 per set of files, including postage to a UK address.

The price of each set of files sent to the USA is $20 or its equivalent in sterling, including airmail.

For other countries in Europe the price is €15 or its equivalent in sterling, including airmail.

For destinations other than Europe or the USA the price is US $20, including airmail.

Payment can be made to my PayPal account using my email address or by sterling cheques or bank drafts.


I am always pleased when collectors take the trouble to advise me of errors or to provide additional information.  Such information is much appreciated and will be used immediately to keep the master files up to date.


Yours sincerely,


Alan Kelly.


The complete list of working files is as given below


First Cycle of Matrix  Numbers.                               New items: MAT106, MAT107, CAT7.


MAT101  Gramophone & Zonophone matrixes from 1898 to 1905, including the earliest zinc cut Berliners made by Fred Gaisberg and Sinkler Darby in London and elsewhere in Europe.  All the earliest material is included, where known.  Fred's Far Eastern tour is included although only the Indonesian titles can be traced.  There are no titles for China or Japan.  There is no further "official" paperwork extant for this period and any additional information will have to come from collectors who find that they own unreported material.


MAT102  Fred Gaisberg’s wax cut matrix series (Berliner & Gramophone) suffixed a (7"), b (10") and c (12"), running in London, Europe and the Middle East from 1900 to 1919.  Fred made somewhere around 30,000 recordings in this triplet alone, not counting his later work in London.


MAT103  Will Gaisberg’s matrix series suffixed d (7"), e (10") and f (12") used by Will until, in 1911, the series became the general ones used by any expert working in London.  This triplet runs from October, 1903 until February, 1921 and contains about 35,000 entries.  Japanese and Korean material cannot be found at Hayes except for a few letters, probably because all the metals and cataloguing details were sent to Victor around about 1905, although nobody at Victor seems to know where they now are


MAT104  William Sinkler Darby’s (Berliner & Gramophone) matrix series were given the suffixes B/g (7"), x/h (10") and y/i (12") (pre/post January, 1904) and were recorded all over Europe between 1901 and 1909.  After 1909 the series were no longer used and Darby matrixes would carry the usual markings for London recordings.  He resigned from the Company in 1920 and for a while worked in his own independent studio, making private "Darbycord" records for the general public before leaving for the United States and a job with Brunswick.


MAT105  Franz Hampe's C/k (7"), z/l (10") and Hp/m (12") (pre/post January, 1904) matrix series were recorded from 1902 until about 1916.  Franz was the elder brother of Max and between them they covered the Central European areas, plus much time in Russia.  Franz cut well over 30000 waxes.  His sphere of operations included Germany and Austria, Scandinavia and Turkey, Milan and Naples, Russia (including a five-month tour of such exotic places as Tashkent, Kokand and Tiflis on Russia's southern borders), large parts of Central Europe (Zagreb, Prague, Budapest, Bucarest, Belgrade and Sofia) and elsewhere.  The information concerning these last two areas will probably be quite new to collectors.  One source alleges that both Hampes were dismissed by Joseph Berliner when the German Branch was bought by Polyphon so that the end of the series raises questions as to who recorded the final sessions and when they were made.


MAT106           Not completed (n/o/p).  This is the Paris Branch series begun by Wallcutt with Scheuplein from 1902 to 1907 (matrixes 201o to 7553).  It contains French, Spanish and Dutch entries.  From 1907 until 1910 the recordings were made by George Dillnutt, beginning in Cairo and then moving to the Far East (matrixes 8500 to 13922).  In this section matrix numbers, recording dates and (most) artists’ names are listed but most of the titles have not been extracted.  These will be in Arabic, Urdu, Tamil, Sinhalese, Burmese, Indonesian, etc.  Finally the series were run by John D Smoot who made the last 500 records in Scandinavia in 1916 (matrixes 13000´ to 13517´).

Although incomplete this triplet is available to order as it stands.


MAT107           Not completed (q/r/s).  Max Hampe began to make records in late 1904 in Berlin and covered most of Central Europe and Russia until 1910 (matrixes 1r to 7935).  In October 1910 he sailed for Batavia and was making records there in December.  In January he moved to India, Burma and Singapore (matrixes 8250 to 12457) before returning to Europe in 1913.  In 1914 when the Great War broke out he was in Zurich, a session which ended at matrix 14070r.  Thereafter there is only the undatable and incomplete evidence of the catalogues.  The final Berlin session ran from 14075r to 14135r and may have been recorded in 1914 or even 1919.  Does anyone know when Richard Strauss accompanied Heinrich Schlusnus around that time?  The photograph of Max in uniform dates from 1916, which may be significant.  In this case the Indian sessions are very fragmentary.

Although incompletely translated this triplet is available to order as it stands.


MAT108  Paris expert Charles Scheuplein's t (7"), u (10") and v (12") matrix series began in 1902 although the first wax was numbered 7001F.  He also made matrixes in the other part of the F series which later became n/o/p and which was at that time shared with Cleveland Walcutt.  Scheuplein joined the Compagnie Française about 1902 and died in 1920.  He worked mainly in France and Spain but for a while spent a quarter of his time in Berlin, a quarter in Vienna and a quarter travelling about.  His contribution to the Company totalled over 25000 recordings.  During his last illness the series was taken over by Harry Fleming (1920-1921) who worked in Paris, Marseille and Tunis, and ended with a session in Algiers in July, 1921.  Much of the information in the Preface to this disc is from previously unknown letters in the EMI Music Archive which have not been published previously but which provide an interesting vignette of life in Paris and elsewhere a century ago and of the personalities involved and otherwise undeservedly forgotten.


MAT109  Arthur Clarke (with an "e") made his first Gramophone recordings in 1908.  He was allocated the series x (7"), y (10") and z (12") but the 7" size had already been discontinued by then.  He recorded in Spain and Italy before being sent to the Middle East and after time spent in London and elsewhere in Europe he departed for the Far East for the best part of a year, calling at Cairo on his way home.  The final sessions in July, 1915 were Scandinavian.  After this his work was in London, where he would use the London series.  In the days of electric recording he seems to have been in charge of sessions made using the mobile van and his presence is noted right into the 1930s.


MAT115  This contains the complete London series prefixed “HO” (for Head Office).  The two series, for 10” and 12” records ran from 1912 to 1921 alongside the other London series which were suffix-e and suffix f and are available as MAT103.  Thus the four series contain virtually the entire British output of recordings during these years.  The name of the recording expert is shown by the use of his indicating letters as a suffix.



Second Cycle of Matrix Numbers.


MAT201  Containing the first two matrix series in the second system of numbering, introduced because of the complete overhaul of studios and systems at Hayes and elsewhere in 1920/21.:

  1. The (prefix) BA/CA series was recorded by Sooy in 1921 (Battistini in Milan) and by Rennie in 1929 (Vienna, Teheran and Baghdad).  Sooy was Victor’s Chief Recording Engineer and was responsible for overseeing the restructuring of the recording studios and processes at Hayes and elsewhere in 1920/21/2

  2. The Bb/Cc series is the main series used in London from 1921 to the end of 1930.  Together with the BR/CR series on MAT207 below, this disc completes the listing of all Gramophone Company recordings (apart from tests) made in the UK from the very beginning until the end of 1930.


MAT202            Not completed (prefix BD/CD and BE/CE).

MAT203            Not completed (prefix BF/CF and BG/CG).


MAT204  1. The (prefix) BJ/CJ series was recorded by H E Davidson mainly in Spain but also in Paris, Vienna and Lisbon.

2. The (prefix) BK/CK series was recorded by G W Dillnutt in Scandinavia, Spain, Milan, The Hague, Prague, Vienna, Bucarest, Belgrade, Berlin and Paris and in North Africa and the Far East.


MAT205  1. The (prefix) BL/CL series was recorded by D E Larter in Paris, the Far East, Berlin, Vienna and Prague.

2. The (prefix) BM/CM series was recorded by W J Beckwith and later by C C Blyton in Milan, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Orviedo, Vienna and Rome.


MAT206  1. The (prefix) BN/CN series was recorded by S E Tunn in Lisbon, Paris, Oslo, Berlin, Munich, Beuron and Cologne and covered the years 1928 to 1930.

2. The (prefix) BP/CP series was recorded by J Jackson in Barcelona, Madrid and Paris.  The series includes records made between 1923 and 1926.


MAT207  This single series of electric recordings carries the prefix BR (10”) or CR (12”).  It was used from 1925 to 1930 and provides a complete list of non-studio material made in London, Liverpool, York, etc, recordings made at outside locations and relayed by landline to a recording studio or to the mobile van.  All the paperwork for this series has survived and only a single number is missing!


The Branch Catalogues.


CAT0        The Head Office (English) Catalogue  (Not yet available; requires editing and correction).

CAT1        The Orient Catalogue.  (Not yet available; much still in manuscript).


CAT2       The Russian Catalogue, incompletely translated, but a printout would run to almost 1500 pages.  The disc does contain a complete listing of single-sided numbers together with artists, matrix numbers, titles and recording dates for both Gramophone and Zonophone records.  The three Russian coupling series of 1913 to 1916 and the HMV EK and EL series of the 1930s are included, as is a compilation of what is known about the Rebikov Catalogue.  Many Rebikov plates were pressed as Zonophones.


CAT3       The French Catalogue.  This is the second (electronic) edition and contains numerous corrections and additions.  I am grateful to those collectors who were kind enough to send me extra information and in particular, to Mr D S Harry, who sent information and details of published couplings which had previously been thought to be unissued.   The Supplement reproduces the Paris Local Registers listing records numbered from 50-600 and 52-600 upwards and in use from 1929 to 1934, as far as these have been traced.


CAT4       This is the electronic version of the complete German Catalogue comprising the Gramophone Standard Catalogue, the Zonophone Catalogue and the Gramophone Green Label Catalogue.  It has been updated and corrected with additional material (mainly later dates) obtained up to the date of this publication.  Although the Supplement contains the local German Registers with the 60-600 and 62-600 (1929 to 1934) series of issue numbers, these are provided although requiring much further work .


CAT5       The Italian Catalogue.  This is also a second electronic edition with corrections and additions.  The 72 page Supplement reproduces the Milan Local Registers in toto and lists all the records with face numbers in the 100-600 and 102-600 series, used from 1929 to 1934.  I also have a few copies of the printed hardbound first edition available at £20/$40/€35, including airmail, if anyone is interested.


CAT6       I have finally, almost two years after deciding to re-edit what data I had on Spanish recordings, managed to edit all the available material into what I hope will be an acceptable file, notwithstanding its limitations.  The catalogue is virtually complete from the early days up to about 1915.  After that, the Registers in the EMI Archive cease to give details of the recordings issued, while the Coupling Cards indicate only the single-sided numbers with no details of matrix numbers, artists or titles.  Artistes' Sheets often provide little more than summaries only of the recordings made, while index cards and pressings have not yet been properly examined.  Consequently many later "titles" consist of nothing more than the side and coupling numbers.  Even so, there is a very considerable volume of data here which has not previously been listed elsewhere.  The three parts of the Catalogue give (a) the standard issues numbered from 60000 upwards, (b) the Zonophone issues numbered from 50000 upwards and (c) the Gramophone green label issues numbered from 260000 upwards although work still has to be done on many of these.  Also included are the supplementary files containing the 110-600 and 112-600 series - later issues from 1929 to 1934.  Although the Catalogue is very much a working file and not fully complete it would seem a pity if the later information were to be completely omitted.


CAT7       The Central European Catalogue.  After its original allocation to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the catalogue was reallocated to Prague. Since the original ten Gramophone catalogues were numbered from zero to nine and since the reallocation of blocks for Zonophone gave the number four to London, there was no spare number available to replace the seven of Gramophone origin.  Consequently Zonophones were registered in catalogue ten, the Orient Catalogue.  This means effectively that there is no Zonophone listing running in parallel with Catalogue Seven, which consists of two parts, Gramophone records numbered from 70000 upwards and Gramophone green label records numbered from 270000 upwards.  The catalogue is virtually complete discographically, but many titles remain untranslated.


CAT8        Not to be produced since the details are already available in Liliedahl's excellent work.


CAT9       The Dutch Catalogue.  This is an electronic version of the printed volume. There were no Local Registers for The Netherlands, later records being catalogued in the London 30-600 and 32-600 series.





Page uploaded 1st December 2009.

Amended 31st May 2016.