The definition of national record production

We have touched on the necessity of preserving examples of 'national record production' without defining this term. It is not as simple as it may seem.

Throughout the history of the industry, records have frequently been manufactured outside the country where the original recordings were made. A German record company makes recordings of a Danish artist in Finland, has them manufactured in Sweden and sends them back to Finland for sale. Are the records Finnish, Danish, Swedish, or German? It depends on the viewpoint and it is impossible to give a universally acceptable answer. Countries with a strong record industry may produce records that are intended for export only. Very small countries may have no local record industry and even recordings of their national music are made by foreign companies abroad. Sound archives may, with good reason, adopt quite different definitions of national record production.

To give an example, Suomen äänitearkisto (the Finnish Institute of Recorded Sound) considers every record manufactured in Finland to be national production. Most such records are, it is true, recorded in Finland by Finnish artists, but there are exceptions. In addition, all records published by Finnish companies are considered to be national production even if they are manufactured abroad. In this case, too, the records usually have a clearly Finnish character. In addition, the archive collects recordings made in the Finnish language (often by Finnish immigrants) in the USA, Canada, Sweden and the USSR, although they are not formally considered national production. This definition is practical in a relatively small country with a locally oriented record industry, but other countries will have to formulate their own definitions. The country of manufacture, the domicile of the record company, the recording site, the nationality of the performer, and even the language or style of the performance may all be involved in the definition of national production.