Recorded music has become so much a part of our daily lives that it is now difficult to imagine the impact gramophone records first had on the lives of musicians over a century ago. For the first time in history, this technology made it possible for music to be heard outside of the physical presence of musicians. The act of disembodying music from its physical source was to carry with it a whole new range of cultural, social and economic implications for the practice and patronage of music. In India, coinciding as it did with a profound rupture in the patronage, social organisation and performance practice of Hindustani music, sound recording technology further extended the direction and substance of this transformation, and in the process it seemed to accrue a greater potency for itself as an agent of change. Addressed here is the challenge that this technology posed for the professional activities of sarodiyas (performers of the plucked lute called a sarod) at the time; how this related to the broader transformation in Hindustani music, and the subsequent responses that sarodiyas, in particular, devised for dealing with it.