What a performance it was, recording music in the early days - round about 1920, for example.
The sound had to be picked up through a funnel (centre of picture above) and - to achieve some kind of balance - the musicians had to be disposed at various distances from it. The vocalist, if any, would sing straight into the funnel.
On a related subject, here's a video you may find interesting. It shows Andy Schumm and fellow musicians, with the recording expertise of Shawn Borri, in 2012 recreating the wax cylinder recording techniques of about 100 years earlier.
To hear the amazing end product in full,