The recording was discovered at the French Academy of
Sciences by David Gioavannoni, an "audio historian" who led the
effort to find Scott's original "phonoautograms". Mr Giovannoni found earlier recordings dating
back as early as 1857. Mr Giovannoni sent scans of the recording to the Berkeley Lab where they were carefully converted into sound using modern technology. Originally the idea was to record the pattern of the human voice and not to actually play the sound back. This was achieved 150 years later.
Edison's recording of himself reciting 'Mary had a little lamb', recorded on a tinfoil cylinder is no longer playable. It dates from 1877. The first playable recording is thought to be from a performance of a Handel oratorio at Crystal Palace in 1888.
If you want to hear the 1860 recording follow this link to the New York Times: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/audiosrc/arts/1860v2.mp3Some other recordings include Thomas Edison and Florence Nightingale (1890) here on the left. Also of interest is the earliest recording of music (Handel's Israel in Egypt) recorded in 1888. In the clip on the right is the earliest surviving moving film - a street scene from Leeds England.