Sources for Ethnomusicology

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Your assignment: add as many entries as possible to the following categories, appending a brief summary to each entry. Include web links (URLs) whenever possible.

Please log in and append your signature to each entry, so I can see your contributions. --Michaelf (talk) 11:45, 11 January 2016 (MST)

Note: EM = ethnomusicology, WM = world music

Reference works for EM and WM

The Garland Online Encyclopedia for World Music ( This ten-volume reference work, available on line through the U of A database listing, gives an overview of not only music, but music in the context of culture for every corner of the earth. A comprehensive reference work. - Sten
This website is also very useful in that it does not concentrate on one area of music, but touches on a variety of genres, including: folk, jazz, rock, blues, sacred, and classical. - Meghan
We also have physical copies of all ten volumes in the reference section of the music library. Look for call number ML 100 G16 1998.--Cari 16:13, 18 September 2008 (MDT)

Encyclopedia of Music in Canada This source is available online through the library's webpage. It contains valuable information on current and past music in Canada. It is quite easy to use as it has a large variety of subject headings available for use in searching for information. - Meghan

Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of The World This Encyclopedia is a seven-volume work compiled by the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM). Its volumes deal with the popular music of various regions, such as the “Caribbean and Latin America”, “North America”, “Asia and Oceana”, “Africa and the Middle East” and “Europe”, but also with more general topics in popular music studies, such as “Media, industry, and society” and “Performance and Production”. Unfortunately, the Rutherford Library does not have the region-specific volumes of this encyclopedia but they do have the two general volumes aforementioned. - Jacques

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music This Encyclopedia is a ten-volume work edited by Colin Larkin. Its first eight volumes are a series of alphabetically arranged entries on artists, bands, record labels, etc. The ninth volume contains a list of selected albums and bibliographies by artist and subject, the tenth volume contains the encyclopedia’s indexes. The entire encyclopedia, in its fourth edition, published in 2006, is available in the reference section of the Rutherford Library. -- Jacques

World music : the rough guide Edited by Simon Broughton, Mark Ellingham and Richard Trillo, with Orla Duane and Vanessa Dowell. The cover claims this reference book to be a “complete handbook” to world music despite the series' "rough guide" concept. (ML 100 W67 1999 vol. 1 and vol. 2). - Laryssa

The Harvard Dictionary of Music Edited by Don Michael Randel. A general musical reference guide, it’s an online database available through our library. Includes entries on ethnomusicology as a discipline but also many on music of a variety of nations, ethnic groups and genres. - Laryssa

The Study of Ethnomusicology: Twenty-nine Issues and Concepts Bruno Nettl raises challenges in the study of Ethnomusicology using his field work experiences. He raises problems in theory and procedure. Tendai African Rhythm and African Sensibility This is a study of three drumming styles of the Dagomba, Ewe and Agbeka ethnic groups of Ghana. Chernoff gives his research experiences living and learning from different master drums. He gives the social function, political and spiritual functions of the various styles that he came into contact with. He also discuses his personal accounts on how he learnt the various rhythms and the rituals that he had to undergo in order to improve his own drumming skills. Tendai

The Soul of Mbira One of the landmark books on one particular style of the several Zimbabwean music styles. Based on the field work Paul Berliner did in the 1970s, he discusses mbira the instrument, functions of the music, spirituality and ensemble performances. He gives examples of areas where the type of mbira he wrote on is found. He gives discusses of some of the "masters" of mbira of those he saw. Tendai--Muparuts 12:28, 19 September 2008 (MDT)--Muparuts 12:28, 19 September 2008 (MDT)

The Oxford Companion to Musical Instruments This book comes from a book series published by Oxford University Press. The book examines the variety of acoustic instruments throughout the ages. Musical instruments, from the simplest to those at the highest level of complexity, are essential parts of music culture of different regions of the world and illustrate social and cultural diversity of these regions. Each entry provides a concise description of the instrument itself, its construction, development, and playing techniques, together with details of its sound and use within the orchestra or, for ethnomusicological instruments, within rites of passage. –Hamidreza

Encyclopedia of African American Music is a comprehensive reference source which covers a wide range of topics such as genres, styles, individuals, groups, important moments, and regional trends of African American Music. This Encyclopedia is available online through the U of A library’s website. –Hamidreza

Source(s): Sources for Ethnomusicology

Ethnomusicology : a research and information guide / Jennifer C. Post, 2011. ML 128 E8 P67 2011. This book is “an annotated bibliography to books, recordings, videos, and websites in the field of ethnomusicology”, outlining resource types and current publications. It is available at the University of Alberta Rutherford Library.

Special Bibliography: An Annotated Bibliography of Theses and Dissertations in Ethnomusicology and Folk Music Accepted at American Universities / Alan P. Merriam, 1960. Published in Ethnomusicology, this bibliography outlines scholarly works in the subjects of ethnomusicology and folk music. This source is available online from JSTOR.

Professional societies for EM

The Society for Ethnomusicology
This can be found at The purpose of the society is to support the study of music throughout history and in all cultures. On this website there is information about conferences, publications, prizes, groups to join, and resources for ethnomusicologists. - Meghan

The Society for American Music
This society can be found at The purpose of this society is to encourage the growth of American music. There are various awards, conferences, student forums, and committees available to apply for and join through the society. The society also publishes a journal called, Journal of the Society for American Music. This society focuses on African American, Native American, jazz, popular, and experimental music. - Meghan

The Canadian Society for Traditional Music (
This society is dedicated to the study of music of all cultures and traditions. The website contains information about memberships, information about the two publications of this society (Canadian Folk Music and Canadian Journal for Traditional Music), bibliography, a list of ethnomusicology resources as well as course syllabi from ethnomusicology courses taught at various academic institutions. - Sten

International Council for the Study of Traditional Music
This society intends to encourage the practice, dissemination and study of all forms of traditional music, including popular, classical, folk music and dance. There is much information about international conferences, protocols and information about the yearbook that is published by this society and access to a directory for members of this organization. - Sten

International Council of Ethnodoxologists
This is a slightly different society of ethnomusicologist, with a particular focus, namely the use of culturally appropriate Christian worship. According to the website, "the ICE network ...facilitate[s] online networking and provide resources for the development of culturally appropriate Christian worship, utilizing insights from ethnomusicology, missiology, worship studies and the arts." Thus the most of the resources available through this organization relate to the use of music in a Christian context, however they may also be of interest due to the recognition of a changing shift in how churches have understood 'traditional' and culturally specific musical styles and genres.--Cari 16:09, 18 September 2008 (MDT)

International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) ( According to the association’s website, the IASPM “is an international organization established to promote inquiry, scholarship and analysis in the area of popular music.” This association organizes conferences, publications, and research projects on national and international levels. Furthermore, its membership is interprofessional and interdisciplinary. Information regarding the Canadian branch of the IASPM can be found at the following website: - Jacques

The Popular Music Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology (PMSSEM) ( The PMSSEM was formed in 1996 to encourage the study of popular music within the activities of the Society for Ethnomusicology. According to their website, the PMSSEM “has an interdisciplinary mission in research, education, and institutional infrastructure. - Jacques

Chinese Music Society of North America Their website states that they were organized in 1969, and focus today on being a forum for Chinese musicians and academics and focusing on research and educational material on Chinese (and non-Western) music, instruments , theatre, dance. They promote their journal as “the most prestigious authority in sources of Chinese music research,” but it’s not one of the holdings at our library. - Laryssa

The College Music Society They nabbed the coveted URL! A society for all musical disciplines, they have an Ethnomusicology Committee, with a number of related resources available should one choose to become a member. - Laryssa

Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society (NLFAS) ( This society is a charitable group located in St. John’s, NL whose mission is the promotion and preservation of the traditional folk arts of the province. Since its creation in 1966, NLFAS has developed both educational and cultural events that allow artists to showcase their work and to encourage the appreciation and preservation of traditional folk arts from the area. - Julia

Folk Music Society of Ireland (FMSI) ( This society was founded in Dublin in 1971. The people within this society are devoted to encouraging interest and promoting research in the traditional music, song and dance of Ireland. Over the years, they have published many books, journals, and audio recordings of Irish music. In 2003, the society decided to discontinue their main activities as they felt that they had satisfied their initial goals. However, they do still publish Irish folk music products. - Julia

Source(s): Professional societies for EM

The Society for Korean Music This society established in 1991 in Busan, Korea. They are publishing Music and Korea, the journal of this society, twice in a year. This society does not limit their scholarly area on only Korean traditional music. It deals with a wide arrange of musical phenomenon, events in Korea. In modern EM, however, Ethnomusic does not mean only ethnic, exotic, and non-Western music but local current music as well. This society can be found at --Kim (talk) 18:24, 17 January 2016 (MST)

Journals centered on EM and WM

FOR EACH JOURNAL, consider: scope/contents, approaches/theories, history, editors/publishers, purpose, historical roles...

Ethnomusicology OnLine
Through the link hereyou can check out this peer-review multi-media ejournal. It ran from 1995 to 2005, and from the website you can access each of the annual journals as well as links to other ethnomusioclogy websites from institutions, publications and others. --Cari 18:27, 14 September 2008 (MDT)

Current Musicology This journal is published by the Columbia University Department of Music. It contains reviewed articles on all forms of musicology and also contains articles that focus on interdisciplinary studies. - Meghan

The Journal of Musicological Research This journal contains articles on various areas of musicology and can be accessed through IIMP. It does not seem to have quite as many articles on ethnomusicology as Current Musicology - Meghan

This journal can be accessed through JSTOR at the university library website. It is the main peer reviewed journal for ethnomusicology, and contains articles on almost any subject relating to ethnomusicology. The most recent journals are available on the shelf in the music library.
--Cari 19:53, 16 September 2008 (MDT)

British Journal of Ethnomusicology This journal can be found through JSTOR at the university library website. Its subject is ethnomusicology, defined as "people making music". The scope of the journal includes all different kinds of music, including classical music. The University of Alberta's access to this journal covers issues from 1992 to 2002. - Sten

Popular Music and Society This journal can be found through the U of A Libraries website via IIMP [1] The journal is a peer-reviewed publication that publishes articles and reviews on popular music of any genre, time, and place. This link provides access to full-text issues from 1996. - Sten

The Journal of Popular Music Studies ( This peer-reviewed journal is published four times a year by the American branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. Abstracts and full-text PDF versions of every article published since 1988 is available online through Blackwell Publishing. - Jacques

Popular Music and Society This peer-reviewed journal is published five times a year. It contains articles as well as book and audio reviews on popular music “of any genre, time period, or geographic location.” [2] This journal is available electronically through the University of Alberta’s library. - Jacques

Journal of the Society of Asian Music Publishing since 1969, issues of this journal published prior to 2004 are available online through JSTOR, with more recent issues in hard copy on the periodical shelf. It’s a an academic journal focused on Asian music in the broadest sense of the term - the table of contents on the most recent issue, listed on the Society’s website covers music from Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, South India, Japan, Iraq, the US, and Egypt (that’s Michael’s). - Laryssa

Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology This is a peer-reviewed journal edited by graduate students at UCLA. The current issue is available online, and past issues downloadable from archives. It’s been around intermittently since 1984, and it’s interesting to see what graduate students have been working on for the last nearly 25 years. - Laryssa

'Journal of Musical Arts in Africa THis is a new journal which is combining musical arts through ethnomusicology, musicology, multicultural music education and performance in Africa. For more information follow this link. ( Tendai

Society for Ethnomusicology--Muparuts 10:19, 22 September 2008 (MDT) SEM journal is a scholarly journal featuring articles on a variety of topics covering the whole world. Part of its major thrust is theory and filled work. There are regular book, record and article reviews. While the SEM journal is covering world musics, the Journal of Musical Arts in Africa deals with mostly the African continent. Tendai

Yearbook for Traditional Music Is published once a year by The International Council for Traditional Music, and its back-issues from its first publication in 1949 can be found on JStor. It is a scholarly journal in traditional music and dance research from around the world. - Etelka

Folk Music Journal is the current publication of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, and focuses on the instrumental music, vocal music and dance traditions of the British Isles and the English-speaking world. All of their publications from 1899, (from before its merger with the English Folk Dance Society in 1931) can be found on JStor. - Etelka

Ethnomusicology Review(ER) is the graduate student publication of the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology. It is edited by graduate students and refereed by a faculty advisory board. The primary feature of the Ethnomusicology Review, Current Issue articles are well-developed essays on topics related to musical practice. Articles are written from a variety of disciplinary perspectives including ethnomusicology, musicology, anthropology, sociology and cultural studies, can be founded through NEOS. Kanykei

The New research of Tuva is electronic magazine, presents the current state of Tuvan studies — a branch of the humanities that investigates the history and culture of the Republic of Tuva (Russia).There are articles and special issues, related to ethnomusicology about Tuvan music and music of nomadic people, available in Russian and English, - Kanykei

Music and Politics An open access, peer-reviewed journal through the University of Michigan, M+P features articles that broadly consider the relationships between music and politics. Each volume includes roughly 4-8 articles by music researchers from multiple disciplines; the scope of these papers range from historical to contemporary issues, mostly focusing on specific geographical areas, musical diasporas, political discourses, and activism in a global context. Although the journal is not specifically ethnomusicological, the topics and papers lend themselves quite well to the values of social justice and advocacy that are present in a number of EM studies. Each volume also includes a review for recent albums and/or texts on music and politics. - Stadnicki

MUSICultures This is the bilingual (FR/ENG) academic journal for The Canadian Society for Traditional Music through York University. The journal investigates issues in popular music, ethnomusicology, and traditional music research in Canadian and global music contexts. Forthcoming special issues include Indigenous Modernities (edited by Beverly Diamond, Kati Szego, and Heather Sparling; 2012) and Atlantic Roots and Routes (Ibid., 2013). This journal is accessible electronically via the U of A library site. - Stadnicki

Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture - Dancecult is an open-access, peer-reviewed e-journal that provides a platform for interdisciplinary research on electronic dance music culture. Spanning historical and contemporary perspectives, the journal houses research that explores the sites, technologies, sounds and cultures of electronic music. [3] -Kelci

The World of Music ( This journal, published by a German group called Verlag fur Wissenschaft und Bildung, releases three issues per year. Each issue covers a specific topic, from Sacred Music in Latin America to Children’s Music and Musical Instruments. Interestingly, these journals are written entirely in English, despite being published in Berlin. JSTOR unfortunately does not offer all of its issues – the latest one being from 2011 – however, the journal’s website does indicate that it is a new series. This journal is particularly noteworthy as it began in 1957. - Julia

Ethnomusicology Forum ( In association with Routledge, the British Forum for Ethnomusicology has published this journal three times per year since 2011. “Ethnomusicology Forum” was originally the British Journal of Ethnomusicology. The goal of the journal is to provide an opportunity for the presentation of both new and critical thinking in the field of ethnomusicology. - Julia

Music and Korea This is a journal of the Society for Korean Music. Actually, this society does not limit their scholarly area on only Korean traditional music. It deals with a wide arrange of musical phenomenon, events in Korea. In modern EM, however, Ethnomusic does not mean only ethnic, exotic, and non-Western music but local current music as well. Moreover, the official title in English is Music and Korea, but its direct translation is Music and (Korean) Nationality. For this reason, this journal can be one of EM. This journal can be found through this link. (

Journals including EM and WM

(musicology, etc.)

Appalachian Journal This interdisciplinary journal is published by Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina and features sutdies of the mountain region's musical culture very prominently amongst those in a variety of other topics, including folklore, history, politics, and ecology. The journal is available through the jstor database. - Dana

Oral History Founded in 1969, the independent journal of the Oral History Society (based at Royal Holloway, University of London) publishes articles “from a wide range of disciplines where the significance of oral history, orality, personal testimony and remembering is understood, valued and debated.” It often includes articles on topics relevant to ethnomusicologists, including many reviews of books about music, no doubt due in part to the influence of Vic Gammon, a professor of ethnomusicology and traditional music at Newcastle University and one-time Development Worker for the society. Oral History can be accessed through the jstor database. - Dana

African Studies (1942-present) The journal, originally named Bantu Studies (1921-41), is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal that focuses on a variety of topics related to social issues relevant to Africa. While the journal’s priority seems more directed to political issues, from an ethnomusicological standpoint, it proves beneficial in showing how literature, dance, music and art integrate into these political questions. What I liked particularly about the journal was the global collaboration that built up its “identity” as a scholarly resource. The editorial board is comprised of academics from around the world; however, the collaboration at its place of publication, South Africa at the University of Witwatersrand, is what recognizes that these are not merely studies on African topics, but African perspectives on topics. The journal contains over 300 articles focusing directly on music. - Nick

Opera Quarterly (1983-present) The articles published by this journal may place strong emphasis on the art music European opera, but there are many other areas of focus. In the past I have found this journal particularly useful in research Chinese opera. Since the journal’s inception there have been over 3000 articles published on the subject, those discussing the art form itself, while others discuss social issues surrounding the subject. The journal’s online access is regularly monitored with an archive that is excellent for navigating searches. - Nick

Latin American Music Review, This online and printed journal explores many areas including historical, ethnographic, and socio-cultural subjects. It covers Latin American countries but also includes Latin American communities in non-Central or South American areas. Writings are in English, Spanish and Portuguese. It begun in 1965 and irregularly has been released during the upcoming years. The articles in music cover theory, ethnomusicological and historical topics. Because of its antiquity, it is a permanently cited journal for academics working on the field of southern musical aesthetic and theory issues. - Nico

Electronic Musicological Review (Revista eletrônica de musicologia), An online journal focused on Brazilian music, music technology and critical musicology, it also includes articles on contemporary music by Latin American composers as well as world-renowned music creators. It is founded and hosted by the Federal University of Paraná. It is annual and per-reviewed, have issues released since 1996. Articles can be in Portuguese, Spanish and/or English. Articles are shared openly on their webpage and they can be read online and downloaded without any subscription. - Nico

Journals on "sound studies"

(sound ecology, soundscapes...)

Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology - This journal is a collection of works assembled by the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE). The WFAE is a global collective of affiliated organizations who are dedicated to an enhanced understanding of the acoustic environment. It is published biannually and sent out to member organizations, but previous versions are archived online and available to anyone 6 to 12 months after publication. [4] - Kelci

Scholarly monograph series in EM

Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology This series of books is published by the University of Chicago Press and can be found through the U of A library website. The series contains several book, each concentrating on a different nation's music. - Meghan

Current Studies in Ethnomusicology This series can easily be found through the NEOS library website and is published by Routledge. Within the series there are books written each on a different culture's music and how they deal with change within their society as well as on a global basis. - Meghan

Cambridge Studies in Ethnomusicology This series can be found through the NEOS library website. Publications in this series include books on Javanase, Persian, and Polish music and can either be devoted to specific issues of the music of a particular culture or a more general overview - Sten

Special Series (Society for Ethnomusicology) This series includes six titles and features collections of essays on specific topics in ethnomusicology. The most recent one in the catalogue appears to come from the 1980's. The series can be found through a search in the NEOS catalogue. - Sten

Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series Edited by Derek Scott, the Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series is “designed to embrace the world’s popular musics from Acid Jazz to Zydeco, whether high tech or low tech, commercial or non-commercial, contemporary or traditional.” [5] Titles from this series found at the Rutherford Library include “The defence of tradition in Brazilian popular music : politics, culture and the creation of música popular brasileira” by Sean Stroud, “Music, informal learning and the school : a new classroom pedagogy” by Lucy Green, and “Blackface minstrelsy in Britain” by Michael Pickering, among thirty-six others. - Jacques

SOAS Musicology Series Edited by Dr. Owen Wright, the SOAS Musicology Series is published by the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. According to the SOAS’ website, their musicological series “comprises studies of different musics, analyzed in the contexts of the societies of which they are part, and exploring repertories, performance practice, musical instruments, and the roles and impacts of individual composers and performers. Studies which integrate music with dance, theatre or the visual arts are encouraged, and contextualized studies of music within the Western art canon are not excluded.” [6] Titles from this series found in the Rutherford Library include “Korean kayag*um sanjo : a traditional instrumental genre” by Keith Howard, “The gei of geisha : music, identity and meaning” by Kelly M. Foreman, and “Zimbabwean mbira music on an international stage : Chartwell Dutiro's life in music” edited by Chartwell Dutiro and Howard Keith, among seventeen others. - Jacques

Ethnomusicology & World Music: Global Music Series Published by Oxford University Press, this is a very recent series (2003 and newer), and includes a number of works focusing on particular musical traditions as case studies, written by ethnomusicologists specializing on each. The series includes Thinking Musically by Bonnie C. Wade and Teaching Music Globally by Patricia Shehan Campbell, intended to frame the case studies within the discipline of ethnomusicology, as well providing a basis for a more global approach to music studies generally. Our library has holdings of 17 titles at various call numbers, which you’ll find by searching “Global Music Series.” - Laryssa

Focus on World Music Series This series is published by Taylor & Francis Group, and is brand new, including only two titles so far, both with 2008 publication dates. Our library has Focus on Music of South Africa, by Carol Muller, in its holdings (ML 3760 M85 2008), but it appears that Focus on Gamelan Music of Indonesia has also recently been published. It might be interesting to see what additional titles are forthcoming, but no information on that is readily accessible at Taylor & Francis’ website so far. - Laryssa

African American Music in Global Perspective (University of Illinois Press) Edited by Laurie Matheson, Portia K. Maultsby, and Mellonee V. Burnim, this new monograph series (2007-2011) focuses on underrepresented topics and issues in black music studies. Interestingly, according to the website, the series addresses research areas that are "characterized primarily by description rather than deep cultural analysis" [7]. Titles such as "Follow Your Heart: Moving with the Giants of Jazz, Swing, and Rhythm and Blues" (Joe Evans, 2008), "From Jim Crow to Jay-Z: Race, Rap, and the Performance of Masculinity" (Miles White, 2011), "Songs in Black and Lavender: Race, Sexual Politics, and Women's Music" (Eileen M. Hayes, 2010) are all available at U of A library holdings. - Stadnicki

Selected Reports in Ethnomusicology (UCLA) Since 1966, the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology has been publishing these volumes that have each focused on central themes, methods, forms of comparative analysis, and particular world music areas. In many cases, these articles are from ethnomusicological conferences that occurred during the year of their publication. Currently, U of A holdings only carries "VOL XI: Musical Cultures of Latin America" (Steven Loza, ed.), and two untitled 1966 and 1974 issues (via Internet Access). - Stadnicki

Refiguring American Music (Duke University Press) This interdisciplinary series, edited by Ronald Radano and Josh Kun, features studies that “question conventional approaches and concepts within American music studies.” The term “American music” is broadly defined here, with titles like Geoffrey Baker's Buena Vista in the Club: Rap, Reggaetón and Revolution in Havana and Carol Ann Muller's Musical Echoes: South African Women Thinking in Jazz included alongside Segregating Sound: Inventing Folk and Pop Music in the Age of Jim Crow by Karl Hagstrom Miller and Diane Pecknold's The Selling Sound: The Rise of the Country Music Industry. Featuring nineteen books in total (so far), the entirety of the series is available at the university library. - Dana

Routledge Studies in Ethnomusicology Routledge's recent series features both monographs and edited collections. It includes only four books so far, all of which are available in the library holdings: The Globalization of Musics in Transit: Music Migration and Tourism (Simone Kruger and Ruxandra Trandafoiu, eds., 2013), Local Music Scenes and Globalization: Transnational Platforms in Beirut (Thomas Burkhalter, 2012), The Local Scenes and Global Culture of Psytrance (Graham St. John, 2011), Popular Music of Vietnam: The Politics of Remembering, the Economics of Forgetting (Dale A. Olsen, 2010). While Routledge's website states that the series is meant to focus on area studies, the most recent title suggests that it has expanded to include works focusing on thematic and issue-based topics, rather than geographical areas. - Dana

Regional overviews for WM

Focus: Music of South Africa This source is found in the Focus on World Music series and is available through the NEOS catalogue. This book looks at the region of South Africa through case studies, focusing on the music of certain areas of South Africa, and a general survey of music in South Africa. ML 3760 M85 2008 - Meghan

Culture and Customs of Jordan This book comes from the series, Culture and Customs of the Middle East. This series does not just focus on the music and dance of different areas of the Middle East, but instead provides an overview of life within a certain culture, including things such as: religion, politics, and literature. This general overview tends to give a better understanding of the music because you have a general understanding of the culture of people in a certain area, rather than isolating research only to music. - Meghan

Carriacou string band serenade : performing identity in the Eastern Caribbean / Rebecca S. Miller. ML 3917 G8 M55 2007 This book comes from the Music & Culture series and can be found through the NEOS catalogue. The cultural importance of the Carriacou string band on the island of Grenada, its context with in the social and political history of Grenada are discussed. This gives the reader a better idea of the cultural significance of this music on Grenada. - Sten

Brazilian music : northeastern traditions and the heartbeat of a modern nation / Larry Crook. ML 3487 B7 C76 2005 This book is part of the ABC-CLIO world music series, which often looks at the historical and political context of music of a particular culture. This books looks at the many traditions and divisions of Brazil and how these factors shaped the different kinds of music. - Sten

Perspectives on Korean Music This work by Keith Howard is published in two volumes. The first of these deals with “Preserving Korean Music”, the second with “Creating Korean Music”. This publication covers Korean music from its preservation system to its contemporary manifestations. These books are supplemented by two CDs. This work is part of the SOAS Musicology Series and is available at the Rutherford Library. - Jacques

Music and the Poetics of Production in the Bolivian Andes This work was written by Henry Stobart. The work starts by contextualizing the musical traditions of the Bolivian Andes and follows with descriptions of this music and its instruments. The book is supplemented by a CD. It is part of the SOAS Musicology Series and is available at the Rutherford Library. - Jacques

Folk Music, Traditional Music, Ethnomusicology: Canadian Perspectives, Past and Present ML 3563.1 F65 2007 This is a book of fascinating articles by Canadian researchers, spanning traditional music from all over Canada and beyond. It spans issues from regional traditions, the representation of Canadian folk music in American music education, traditional and non-traditional performers, Mennonite music in Mexico to the music of First Nations Peoples. - Etelka

Music in Egypt: Expressing Music, Expressing Culture by Scott Marcus. Oxford University Press 2007. It is part of the Global Music Series, so is written a bit like a textbook, and comes with a CD. An excellent and thorough overview of not only the music and its theoretical side, it also explores the rich culture behind it. Topics covered are qur'anic chanting, sufi music, folk and wedding music, early to late art music to present-day pop music. It also provides samples of solo instruments playing in order to hear their characteristics. - Etelka

Folk-Songs of Old Quebec is written by the influential ethnomusicologist and field researcher, Marius Barbeau. The book includes fifteen old French-Canadian songs of the voyageurs and habitants dating between 1883-1969. Marius Barbeau opens with a discussion of the possible origins of the songs, often traced back to France. The book itself can be found through NEOS with this call number: M 1678 B23 1962. There are also reviews of this publication in Jstor. - Daniel

Drops of Brandy-An Anthology of Métis Music is a collection of Métis fiddle tunes published by the Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI). This book with accompanying CDs includes different versions of old Métis fiddle tunes as played by the Métis fiddlers themselves. Some of the fiddlers include John Arcand, Mel Bedard, Richard Calihoo, Homer Poitras and Gilbert Anderson. Anyone interested in Métis fiddling should own this collection. You can buy it directly from GDI or there is a copy available at the U of A library: M 1678 D82 2002. - Daniel

Encyclopædia Iranica is dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. This academic reference work covers all aspects of Iranian history, culture, languages, literatures and Arts. The Encyclopedia also includes many articles about Iranian Music (Persian Music) and covers a wide range of topics such as history, famous musicians, important events, musical terms and musical instruments of Iranian Music. The Encyclopedia is available online at –Hamidreza

The dastgah concept in Persian music The book gives a complete presentation of Radif which is the traditional repertoire of Persian Classical Music. It introduces the theory of Persian scales and explains the role of pitches in the scale. It also describes the social and cultural contexts of Persian classical music and the ways improvisers transform the Radif into a performance. This book is written by Hormoz Farhat, one of the most famous Iranian music scholars and musicians. The book is his dissertation in musicology at UCLA in 1965. The electronic version of the book is available online through the U of A library’s website. –Hamidreza

Different Drummers: Rhythm and Race in the Americas (Martin Munro, University of California Press 2010) An examination of the historical significance of rhythm in black culture, focusing on West Indian, Caribbean, and North American case studies and traditions. Munro analyzes the discourse of rhythm as it relates to issues of race, social movements, and political change, positing that rhythm has performed a central role in the formation of black identity and socio-political autonomy. This book is available in the U of A library holdings. - Stadnicki

May It Fill Your Soul: Experiencing Bulgarian Music (Timothy Rice, University of Chicago Press 1994) This text provides a unique account and analysis of the diverse forms of Bulgarian music, situating the author as ethnomusicologist, musician, and student. The accompanying CD includes a number of musical examples, and the text also features a glossary of terms, a number of illustrations and photographs. Of particular note is Rice's theoretical use of the philosophical hermeneutics of Gadamer and Ricoeur to analyze musical appropriation and the interpretation of another culture's music. This text is available at the U of A library. - Stadnicki

Music is West Africa – This overview written by Ruth M. Stone, the Laura Boulton professor of Ethnomusicology at Indiana University, is part of a larger series of regional overviews done for the Global Music Series. It provides a substantial review of West African history, its people, and their music. Unfortunately Stone uses distractingly simplistic language and concepts for a book supposedly aimed at a university audience. The book should perhaps be considered as the first step into this valuable series of regional overviews. The book and its accompanying CD are available from the Music Library ML 350 S76 2005. -Matt Trodden-

The Music of Africa – This seminal work from 1974 by J.H. Kwabeha Nketia, who is considered by many to be one of Africa’s greatest ethnomusicologists, provides a well-written guide to Africa’s diverse and complicated musical history and its contemporary outcomes. Although wide in scope, Nketia is able to concisely cover the continent and its diversity in 278 pages. The book is available from the music library ML 350 N73 1974. -Matt Trodden-

Celtic Music: A Complete Guide: From Ancient Roots to Modern Performers: The Music of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Beyond / Sawyers, June Skinner, 2001. This overview of Celtic Music of the British Isles covers the diverse and fascinating development of Celtic Music, discussing ancient bards, the bagpipes, Gaelic songs and influences, and more contemporary advancements, such as the folk music revival and the contributions of bands like U2. This source is available online as an eBook. [8] - Cara-Joy

Canadian folk music/Musique folklorique canadienne. Published by the Canadian Society for Traditional Music, this quarterly journal “contains articles, notices, reviews and commentary on all aspects of Canadian folk music.” Complete archives are available online. [9] - Cara-Joy

Frontera: Archivo De La Musica Mexicana-Americana - An archive of Mexican-American music compiled in conjunction with the UCLA Library, the Arhoolie Foundation, Los Tigres del Norte Foundation and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. The database contains a staggering amount of data and music, enabling users to search by title, label, genre, subject, name, performer, of composer. Any user can also preview the first 50 seconds of each song online, but often the full version is restricted to UCLA users. Accessible by a link in the University of Alberta's database listing. [10] -Kelci

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia - An online government-funded database devoted to the "living archive" of Australia's audiovisual heritage. The collection holds over 1.9 million works, and strives to archive a well-rounded, culturally significant collection for Australia. [11] -Kelci

China: A Journey Into Its Musical Art by Sin-yan Shen. U of A RHSS Call No.: ML 336 S463 2000. Because of Shen has lots of great and useful comments during her concert tours in North America and Europe with the Chinese Classical Orchestra and the Silk &Bamboo Ensemble, she collected the comments and reorganized it for this book. The book is focus on “the early development and very early systematic advances in Chinese philosophy and mathematics form the intellectual foundation of the Chinese musical system." Trying to give a full picture of primitive music- Ran

Chinese Musical Instruments by Yuan-yuan Lee.U of A RHSS Call No.: ML 531 L43 1999. Lots of Chinese tradition instruments have not been recognized by the rest of the world. Lee approach the subject from its historical background to the principle of practice. - Ran

Afghan Music and Dance: Shared Arts of Persia's Past Highlighting 1970s, published by Eastern Arts in 2012: This book is written by Lloyd Clifton Miller PhD, Katherine St. John and is a result of Lloyd Miller's 7 year residency in Iran and Afghanistan in the 70s plus 3 years in Paris in the early 60s where he studied with Daryush Safvat. It is the result of Miller's original PhD Fulbright research on comparison of Herati chaharbaiti music and song texts to the Persian dastgah (modal) system and poetic prosody including details about several Herati musicians. Information on music is augmented by Katherine St. John's informative MA work on Afghan dance emphasizing Herat. - Morteza

Music in Turkey: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture (Global Music): Written by Eliot Bates and published by Oxford University Press, 2010. In this book, Eliot Bates employs four themes in his survey of Turkish music: 1. The role of music in forming a national consciousness about local and regional cultures, 2. How changes in musical meaning pertain to changes in contemporary Turkish society, 3. The process of arrangement, where technology is creatively used to revitalize and modernize traditional music, and 4. How today's Anatolian musical instrument performance and construction are linked to local, regional, and national identities. - Morteza

Theorizing the Local: Music, Practice, and Experience in South Asia and Beyond, Wolf, Richard. (2009). ML 330 T44 2009 (Rutherford). Wolf explores the music of the transnational landscape of South Asia, looking at several locally focused performance traditions that have been relatively unexplored until now. He combines studies of the music of the transnational regions of Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Iran into a single volume, something which has never been done before. The book has a companion website which offers several audio and video tracks to supplement the readings. The book takes on a critical perspective, which argues for the value of comparative micro-studies in order to challenge the overwhelming attention being paid to the “globalized,” which the author argues has received the majority of scholarly and consumer attention over the past 4 decades, particularly in the study of South Asian music. - Arsh

Sikh Musicology: Sri Guru Granth Sahib and Hymns of the Human Spirit. Singh, Gurnam. ML 3197 G87 2013 (Rutherford). This book demarcates the Sikh musical tradition of Shabad Kirtan, or Gurmat Sangeet. It argues that Sikh music distinguishes itself from the other musical traditions of India because of an innate character of originality. Gurmat Sangeet can be identified through the musical patterns and original traditions of Raag and mode usage as prescribed by the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS). This spiritual musical tradition forms an integral part of the musical contextual landscape of Northwest India and is explored in great detail in this book. The book outlines the modal systems of the 31 Raagas and 31 Raaga forms of the SGGS, and the musical notations of these 62 Raagas are included in this book. - Arsh

Making music in the Polish Tatras: tourists, ethnographers, and mountain musicians / Cooley, Timothy J. Indiana University Press, 2005 This book deals with music and musicians in Tatras of mountains between Poland and Slovak. It does not simply focus on music sound itself, but researches its cultural meaning and human relations. Also, the author explains that is an example of a particular style of ethnomusicology usually identified with North America. This book can be read online --Kim (talk) 18:59, 17 January 2016 (MST)

Gourmet musical, This is an Argentinian editorial located in Buenos Aires, dedicated to the music born and grown on that country as well as in Latin America. Highlighted topics are tango, Argentinian folklore as well as rock and renowned composers and performers of any music style. Writers are mostly musicologist and researches, it was founded in 2005 and it has released to the moment more than 30 books. Books are just is just in Spanish. This material is constantly used for Latin-American researchers and people interested on the music of that part of the world. - Nico

La Milonga Argentina, An online and printed magazine dedicated to tango music in Argentina and over the world. It covers many issues related with tango from composers, songs, analysis, dance, etc. It is fully readable online and in both languages Spanish and English. It is not peer-reviewed, belongs to the popular magazine style but it links to official sources, musicologist and tango developers. It has over 120 numbers and has been published for 11 years. - Nico

Introductory textbooks for EM and WM

Excursions in World Music by: Bruno Nettl, Charles Capwell, Isabel K.F. Wong, Thomas Turino, Philip V. Bohlman, Timothy Rommen This book begins with a section on studying music of the world, which includes a section on why different cultures have defferent styles of music. The text then goes on to discuss the music of India, the Middle East, China, Japan, Indonesia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, Latin America, Caribbean, Native American, and North American music. Being that there are so many cultures discussed in one book, each culture's music is touched on briefly, making it a good textbook for introductory studies in Ethnomusicology. - Meghan

Ethnomusicology edited by Helen Myers. (Norton, 1992-1993) Library Call Number : ML 3799 E87 1992 This two-volume set introduces ethnomusicology and many aspects(eg. field work, transcription) and theoretical approaches of the discipline. Its comprehensive subject matter makes this a useful resource as a textbook. - Sten

Field Manual for Ethnomusicology Herndon, M. and McLeod, N., Norwood Editions, 1983. ML 3798 H 45 1983 This manual gives a detailed and methodological approach to conducting field research, including the techniques of recording, record-keeping, research objectives. Useful introduction for anyone conducting research in ethnomusicology, though not as useful as a guide to concepts and ideas of ethnomusicology. - Sten

Shadows in the field : new perspectives for fieldwork in ethnomusicology edited by Gregory F. Bartz and Timothy J. Cooley. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
This is an anthology that addresses the issue of fieldwork, how, and why we do fieldwork, and various different approaches. The authors write out of their own experience, often even including some of their fieldnotes. It provides a nice overview some of the different methods and approaches to fieldwork, and the incorporation of field materials in publishable work. We have several copies on the shelves at the music library, following the call number ML 3799 S5 1997. Or you can find an electronic version through the library here.

Worlds of Music This textbook by Jeff Todd Titon, Linda Fujie, David Locke, and David P. McAllester “presents in-depth explorations of music of several cultures from around the world.” [12] Articles are written by ethnomusicologists and are based on their fieldwork in the given area. The book is available in its fifth edition at the Rutherford Library. - Jacques

American Popular Music This textbook by David Joyner is “intended for instructors and students with the task of surveying the history of a number of styles of American popular music in a one-semester or one-quarter time frame” (Joyner). The book starts its description of American popular music with Tin Pan Alley and the Theatre and ends with the music of the 21st century. The book is available in its recently published third edition at the Rutherford Library. - Jacques

World music : a global journey This book, by Terry E. Miller and Andrew Shahriari, is published by Routledge and is intended to be a handbook to the music of various regions for non-musicians. A quick review of the table of contents shows that it asks the “which music is up for study?” questions, broaches the topic of cultural context, and highlights important aural aspects of listening to world music and some other general theoretical issues before introducing case studies. ML 3798 M53 2006 - Laryssa

Musics of Many Cultures: An Introduction Edited by Elizabeth May, with a foreword by Mantle Hood and an introductory chapter by Bruno Nettl, this text is a bit older (evidenced by the fact that it is accompanied by cassettes), and seems from the Table of Contents to also bear the evidence of its age, given a focus on fairly prototypical non-Western types of music, with a sop to North American native and Eskimo music. Interesting sidebar: Apparently, according to the library database, this text is approved for use in Alberta school curriculum, but a look at the fairly theoretical introductory chapter makes me wonder if it’s been used in that context??? ML 3798 M98 1980 - Laryssa

Soundscapes: Exploring Music in a Changing World by Kay Kaufman Shelemay. Norton 2001. Centering around the multidimensional term "soundscape," this world music textbook examines a large range of musical traditions, especially those found in North America due to centuries of immigration. Each chapter examines a particular aspect of life - from the everyday, the local, religion and worship, to migration, identity, memory and politics - and presents case studies from a variety of cultures in each chapter. This allows for a broad range of perspectives on each issue presented. Already a bit dated, but presents plenty of interesting ideas. MT 90 S53 2001 c.1 - Etelka

Folk Music: A Very Short Introduction by Mark Slobin provides an excellent overview of folk music, past and present. The book opens with a section on soundscapes and the relationship between folk music and culture. Slobin discusses the role of scholars and researchers in the field. The book ends with an examination of the future state of folk music. This book is available at the University of Alberta Rutherford-Humanities and Social Science with the following call number: ML 3545 S63 2011. - Daniel

Theory for Ethnomusicology is by Ruth M. Stone and published by Pearson Prentice Hall. This book offers an in-depth look of ethnomusicology from various theoretical viewpoints. Some of the topics include linguistics, Marxism, gender, ethnicity, phenomenology, cognition, communication and paradigmatic structuralism. The book is on reserve at the music library: ML 3798 S76 2008. - Daniel

Exploring the World of Music: An Introduction from a World Music Perspective by Dorothea E. Hast, James R. Cowdery, Stan Scott. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1999. Accompanying CDs are available,the call number for these are MT 90 E97 1999a. This textbook provides an overview of various musics, incorporating Western Classical, popular and folk alongside music from around the world. Each chapter is based on a musical or sociological element such as melody, texture, composition/improvisation, transmission and transformation. MT 90 E97 1999. - Etelka

The World of Music – This introductory textbook and three CD package written and compiled by professor of Music David Willoughby covers American Folk, religious, ethnic music, popular, jazz, and world music. The CDs are intended to guide students to a deeper understanding and appreciation of recorded music and its origins. It is available in its 7th edition at the Rutherford Library MT 6 W533 W7 2010. –Matt Trodden-

World Music: The Basics – Written by Richard O Nidel this extensive collection provides the reader easily consumed summaries of world music. Nidel’s research for the book is reflected in the density of his summaries. An excellent addition to these summaries are his recommendations for CDs that accurately reflect the music he is talking about. The book is available at the Music Library ML 3545 N54 2005. -Matt Trodden-

World Music: Traditions and Transformations by Michael B. Bakan. U of A RHSS Call No.: ML 3545 B24 2012. It is an introductory –level survey of diverse music from around the world. This textbook is designed for undergraduate nonmusic students, so the text is supported by a four-CD set of musical examples and by photographs. The aim of this textbook is try to “create an engaging, clear, and accessible work that college and university instructors fro a variety of backgrounds can use to make world music a vehicle of exploration, discovery, intellectual stimulation, and fun for their students. - Ran

World Music: A Very Short Introduction by Philip V. Bohlman. U of A RHSS Call No.: ML 3470 B68 2002. This light book uses 21th century as a milestone to illustrate what could be understood as world music. Because of the event of September 11th, Bohlman admits world music has its dark side but he tries to seek the middle ground which “does not avoid the dual meaning s evident in the rhetoric of globalization or the discourse of world music, but rather it endeavours to represent the space of encounter, which is also the space in which the history of world music has unfolded.” - Ran

Music of the Peoples of the World, by William Alves, published by Cengage Learning; 3 edition, 2012. This book can be used as a great textbook in world music. The book’s first five chapters focus on an introduction to world music cultures and the elements of music, introducing the basic terms and listening skills that the writer will use throughout the book. The nest eleven chapters’ subjects are the eleven musical cultures the book has chosen to introduce to the readers. Listening guides to individual works offer opportunities for close listening analysis of specific example performances. - Morteza

Analytical and Cross-Cultural Studies in World Music, edited by Michael Tenzer and John Roeder. Published by Oxford University Press, 2011. This book presents explanations of extraordinary musical creations from diverse cultures across the world. All the authors are experts, deeply engaged in the traditions they describe. Accompanying the explanatory prose is a wealth of diagrams, transcriptions, recordings, and (online) multimedia presentations, all intended to convey the richness, beauty, and ingenuity of their subjects. The music ranges across geography and cultures-court music of Japan and medieval Europe, pagode song from Brazil, solos by the jazz pianist Thelonius Monk and by the sitar master Budhaditya Mukherjee, form-and-timbre improvisations of a Boston sound collective, South Korean folk drumming, and the ceremonial music of indigenous cultures in North American and Australia-much of which has never been so thoroughly analyzed before. - Morteza

Music as Culture / McLeod, Norma. Herndon, Marcia. Music Research Institute, 1990. In this book, the authors argue that music cannot be interpreted without its cultural and social context. They think music cannot exist lifted from its context because music is a social, cultural product, and result of human behavior. --Kim (talk) 20:13, 17 January 2016 (MST)

EM Archives

The James Koetting Ghana Field Recording Collection
Located at the Brown University Library Center for Digital Initiantives, here, this collection contains the complete archive of ethnomusicologist James Koetting's field recordings and fieldnotes from Ghana in the 1970s. The material is mainly from his work with Kasena musicians in Accra, and the Kasena region in the northern part of Ghana, but there is also material documenty Akan, Ewe, Ga, Dagomba and other musical types and activities. --Cari 17:47, 14 September 2008 (MDT)

University of Washington Ethnomusicology Archives This collection was started in 1963 and contains various video, film, and sound recordings. On this website there is a link to the on-line catalogue where recordings can be searched by researcher, instrument, or recording title. - Meghan

CBC Digital Archives This is a valuable source when researching Canadian music (especially popular). Through this website you can search for sound recordings and television clips. - Meghan

Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections This website describes the various collections housed in the Smithsonian Centre for Folklife and Heritage, including the Moses and Frances Ash Collection that has an extensive collection of sound recordings of music from around the world. A useful place for locating sound recordings of world music. - Sten

The British Library: World and Traditional Music ( This website contains links to listings of all published and unpublished recordings of world music, representing most of the musical traditions of the world. The collections are open to the public. - Sten

MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada This archive was created by the Department of Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundl and contains folksongs and other material from Cape Breton and Newfoundland. Not only does the archive contain recordings of the song as well as lyrics, but also information about the singers, the communities and also the main collector, MacEdward Leach.--Cari 15:28, 18 September 2008 (MDT)

Centre d'études acadiennes ( The Centre for Acadian Studies is located at the Université de Moncton in New Brunswick, Canada. The centre boasts a collection of over 3800 field recordings which deal with the folklore and oral histories of the Acadians. These recordings feature songs as well as folktales, legends, and other oral testimonies. Archival materials may only be viewed on location. - Jacques

UCLA Ethnomusicological Archives ( According to their website, UCLA’s large electronic archive includes “non-commercial field recordings and commercially produced recordings of traditional, folk, popular, and art musics from Africa, Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas on a variety of audiovisual formats.” The archives notably contain many recordings from Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa, as well as the music of Native North Americans. Archival materials may only be viewed on location. - Jacques

Global Music Archive This archive is associated with Vanderbilt University and was founded in 2003 by Gregory Barz. There is a small searchable digitized East African collection. - Laryssa

International Library of African Music This archive is available online now through its affiliation with Rhodes University in South Africa, but was initially established as an independent endeavour by Hugh Tracey. Over 13,000 sound samples are available in the digital collection. - Laryssa

DRAM (Database of Recorded American Music) - This continuously developing musical archive was established to preserve recordings believed to be in danger of being lost to time. It should be noted that the acronym initially chosen no longer represents the extent of the collection as it now holds many recordings from around the world. DRAM’s substantial collection includes many genres and the website is easily navigated. DRAM also preserves many of the accompanying liner notes, essays, etc. which will aid current and future research of these recordings. DRAM is accessible through University of Alberta library access. -Matt Trodden-

Jazz Music Library - This extensive and always expanding archive of jazz recordings includes a great range of artists and sub-genres that fall under the jazz heading. As a great resource for researchers, the database is easily navigated using the search functions that allow for a number of hits based on even the most specific jazz music research. The website allows you to construct a playlist which is not only a useful tool for assembling research, but also introduces a fun component for those looking to enjoy some jazz. It is uncomplicated and uncluttered, delivering on its name as a library of music and can be accessed through University of Alberta library access. -Matt Trodden-

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress – Archive of Folk Culture This extensive archive of traditional culture from all over the world contains over three million items, including a vast amount of audio recordings. Many of its collections are publicly available online, including the Lomax Family Collections and the Robert Winslow Gordon Collection of American folk songs. Unfortunately, only samples of audio files are available for streaming, but it is a nice touch that they have been edited sensitively. The site also includes a searchable database of information on the American Folklife Center's approximately 34,000 ethnographic recordings. - Dana

Thomas Edison National Historical Park This is by no means a strictly ethnomusicological resource, but the park's website contains a multimedia page through which anyone can stream a variety of Edison recordings made between 1900 and 1930, including classical instrumental music, Anglo-American folk songs, jazz, blues, dance bands, negro spirituals, opera, choral music, ragtime, Tin Pan Alley popular songs, and “Music from Foreign Countries.” This site is very easy to navigate, and the recordings quite fun to explore. - Dana

Archive -

School of Scottish Studies Archives. Located at the University of Edinburgh, the School of Scottish Studies Archives was created in 1951 to “collect, preserve, research and publish material relating to the cultural traditions and folklore of Scotland.” The Sound Archive includes thousands of songs and instrumental recordings, over half of which are Gaelic and Scots in origin. In addition, the Sound Archive contains recordings from Appalachia, India, Uganda, and religious music from Asia, as well as an extensive collection of recorded folk tales. Items can only be accessed on site at the University of Edinburgh. - Cara-Joy

Scottish Music Centre. An extensive archive of Scottish music, both past and present, the Scottish Music Centre houses a wealth of information about music created or recorded in Scotland, including everything from contemporary jazz music by Scottish artists to obscure ancient bagpiping melodies. According to its website, “a huge enthusiasm and depth of knowledge among staff is matched by access to state of the art technology. If you have a question, the SMC almost certainly has the answer.” The database is searchable online, with enquiries possible via email. - Cara-Joy

Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology (ARCE) ( Established in 1982 and serves as a repository for research tapes from South Asian and Western scholars. The category of collections ranges from classical music to folk and popular music. - Ran

The Archive of Folk Culture ( According to the website, it was originally founded in 1928 but became a part of the American Folklife Centre in 1978. So it is mainly based on the collections of the American Folklife Centre. It includes over three million photographs, manuscripts, audio recordings , and moving images. - Ran

Archives of African American Music & Culture (AAAMC) - Established in 1991, the AAAMC brings together a wide range of African American cultural and musical information. This archive focuses on the post-World War II era and is located primarily at Indiana University. Popular, religious, and classical music are emphasized, with a variety of genres up to the present day. There are links to some online resources on the website and also information about how to access physical data. [13] -Kelci

The Archives of Traditional Music - Located at Indiana University, the archive boasts 100,000 recordings that include over 2,700 field collections. The website claims that it is "one of the largest university-based ethnographic sound archives in the United States." Collections can be searched using the university's online catalog system (IUCAT), and users interested in particular items that cannot physically go to the university may request documents from the archive online. [14] -Kelci

Sikhnet- Gurbani Media Centre and Archive ( - Over 45 continuous days (66,000 minutes) of Gurbani Kirtan, with over 4,600 tracks of free streaming music from over 350 Sikh musicians from around the world. The worlds largest collection of Gurbani available for public listening. A great archive of rare and old Gurbani cassette tapes and reels to preserve the Sikh musical heritage. - Arsh

Florida Atlantic University – Judaica Sound Archives ( - The mission of the Judaica Sound Archives at FAU is to collect, preserve, and digitize Judaica sound recordings, and also to highlight the rich cultural legacy of this tradition. This collection has over 12,000 recordings and covers a great number of classical and contemporary artists. - Arsh

Slovak Early Music Database An archival-based online resource, it is obviously quite specialized, but would be very useful to a scholar working in this field of music. The website is meticulously organized with a full bibliographic index of the entries contained in the collection. One can also search sources by chant title, genre or feast day. Perhaps, the best aspect of the site is that almost all of the source documents have been scanned and our available online solving the problem of getting in touch with the archive directly. - Nick

The National Library of Wales The music collection at the National Library of Wales carries an extensive grouping of Welsh traditional music, as well as British and European sources. This is not exclusively literary sources, but also includes a number of audio and visual materials. While the list is long, unfortunately none of these items are available online; however for the individual planning a research trip to Wales, the benefits behind this archive would be quite fruitful. Items can be requested ahead of time through the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales. - Nick

The Discography of Newfoundland and Labrador ( This discography is compiled in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies at Memorial University. It includes commercial recordings by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and commercial recordings produced in Newfoundland and Labrador. As of May 2014, the database included 3100 recordings from 33 1/3 rpm albums, cassettes and CDs; however, this may have been updated since that statistic was recorded. This website is simply a database – listening to songs is not yet available. - Julia

The ARChive of Contemporary Music ( Considered to be the world’s largest popular music archive, ARC is a not-for-profit archive, music library and research center that has been in operation since 1985 in New York City. The mission of ARC is to collect, preserve and provide information on the popular music of all cultures and races throughout the world. As of now, ARC houses more than three million sound recordings, with more than 300,000 electronically catalogued. - Julia

EM Web portals

Les Africains de la Chanson Francophone
This is a really neat interactive website, introducing regional musics in Africa. The website is in French, so those lacking language skills may not get the full benifit, but you can still browse through and check out the regional examples of music and instruments, as well as the music of specific artists. You can even play around with pre-selected sound samples to create your own musical piece.
--Cari 18:57, 14 September 2008 (MDT)

Oxford Music Online This is a portal linked to Grove music Online, The Oxford Dictionary of Music, and The Oxford Companion to Music. This can easily be found through the Neos catalogue website. When you search a musical term it is looked for in all three of these websites at once, rather than just Oxford Music Online. - Meghan

Folk Music Home Page I do not believe this portal would be considered scholarly, but it does link to several world folk music websites which could be useful for studies in ethnomusicology. The home page focuses on current folk music artists, but this could also be considered within the scope of ethnomusicology. - Meghan

World Music Central This website has links to much information about world music, including databases about world music artists, other world music portals, record labels, festivals, musical instruments and many other music resources. A valuable tool for quickly accessing information on world music. - Sten

All Brazilian Music This website claims to be the most comprehensive database ever constructed regarding Brazilian music. There are extensive databases on songwriters, artists, albums and individual tracks, as well as descriptions of the main genres of Brazilian music, reviews and interviews. - Sten

National Geographic World Music This website features audio and video recordings, cultural and musical descriptions, interviews and biographies which are listed according to genre, artist, or region. - Jacques

Afropop Worldwide This website features articles and interviews concerning contemporary African and World popular music, live radio streaming from international sources, interactive maps, podcasts, free song downloads, and CD reviews, among many other features pertaining to this style of music. - Jacques

The Coombsweb A web portal housed on the Australian National University web page and focusing on Asian studies research, it links to archives, programs and collections on that subject at ANU and at the National Library of Australia. - Laryssa

University of Washington Music Library – Ethnomusicology, Folk Music and World Music This web page is part of the Music Library homepage at UW, and links to a great number of resources available on the web. There are a certain number of dead links, but it seems to be relatively well maintained. - Laryssa

pop music of zim/news A website where current events in mostly urban popular music are discussed and heard. It is an inclusive source which rounds up all types of current popular music. Tendai

African Music Videos Videos are well set country by counrty. They include a wide variety of music styles spread across Africa mainland and the Islands. Tendai --Muparuts 12:40, 19 September 2008 (MDT)

The Virtual Museum of Métis History and Culture [15] This website is an invaluable website for anyone looking into the story of Métis people in Canada. This site includes images, write-ups, audio and video, access to publications, information on conferences and other related events. More on the music side: fiddling, jigging and storytelling have always played a major part in Métis culture. Information about these aspects of Métis culture are also included on the site. - Daniel

American Nyckelharpa Association [16] The American Nyckelharpa Association website is your 'one-stop shop' for everything relating to Sweden's national folk instrument, the nyckelharpa, or keyed-fiddle. There are a lot of nyckelharpa sources in Sweden, but this website covers information relevant to those interested in the nyckelharpa in North America (plus it is entirely in English). The site includes information about upcoming events, articles about the instrument, audio and video and a shop for selling/buying nyckelharpas or parts. - Daniel

Blogging Ethnomusicologists [17] A 'metablog' set up by ethnomusicologist Barbara Alge (University of Music and Theater - Rostock, Germany) that features some interesting blogging work done by ethnomusicologists from around the world. Not the easiest site to navigate, but there are lots of great links to fieldwork entries, community networks, world music album reviews, and the work of mostly graduate students. - Stadnicki

Music Online ( is an electronic resource which is designed to provide one of the most comprehensive databases in streaming audio, video, reference, and scores on the web. Music Online brings together the entire music products of Alexander Street Press and allows researchers to access all of these databases in a single searchable webpage: African American Music Reference, American Song, Classical Music Library, Classical Music Reference Library, Classical Scores Library, Contemporary World Music, Dance in Video, the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online, Jazz Music Library, Opera in Video, and Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries. This electronic resource is available online through the U of A library’s website. –Hamidreza

Music Resources on the Web ( This webpage as a part of Yale University Music Library’s website provides a classified listing of web sources in music and includes many helpful links which can be used in ethnomusicological research. –Hamidreza

The Aga Khan Music Initiative ( Music Initiative began its work in Central Asia, and later expanded to include musicians and artistic communities from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Here you can find out about projects which was done during last 10 years in these countries with links to CD, Video collections and publications. Production of the 10-volume CD-DVD anthology Music of Central Asia, In co-produced with the Smithsonian Institution is available trough NEOS. - Kanykei

Jazz.Ru ( is the definitive source of jazz information for millions of Russian-speaking audience worldwide. Individual portraits of world jazz musicians, news, russian jazz podcast, interviews, articles, festivals, audio and video materials are available. Jazz.Ru turned printed by starting a full-color, monthly magazine in Russian. The website is available in English. - Kanykei

Gurbani Raag Archive ( - Outlines the Raag and modal structures of the Sikh musical tradition, with detailed analysis of each of the Raags contained in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, as well as there prescribed usages in terms of time of day, and application. A very useful source for those looking for information on the techniques and application of this musical tradition. - Arsh

Jewish Music Library ( - A historical and contextual overview of the ancient roots of the musical traditions of this culture. Covers a great temporal and social-contextual expanse and is very detailed in its analysis. Very helpful for developing an understanding of these musical traditions and the role they have played and continued to play in shaping this culture’s identity. - Arsh

Dublin Music Trade This is a very helpful index/database if one endeavours to generate intersections names, locations and dates relevant to the publication of Irish music. Data on the website reaches as far back as the late sixteenth century making it relevant to musicologists and ethnomusicologists alike. What I like about it is that the focus lay in the musical environment, providing information on the collaboration that motivates the dissemination of music. The index is extensive and can be searched Name, Date, Location and Place of Business with simple and advanced searches regarding a particular document in question. - Nick

Latin American Choral Music This is a useful index for finding relevant source documents pertaining to a particular style, composer, region or title of choral music in Latin America. The site extends across all period encompassing approximately 11,000 entries on the subject. One cannot call the database precisely academic, but the site’s creator is forthright with her credential and proves her expertise via experience. Similar to imslp the database is more of a work in process; it is consistently being updated and refined.- Nick

The Music Index Indexes over 655 international music periodicals offering access to historiographic, ethnographic, and musicological data. Subjects covered include past and present personalities, the history of music, forms and types of music, musical instruments from the earliest times to modern electronic instruments, plus computer produced music. In addition, book reviews, reviews of music recordings, tapes, and performances are indexed. First performances and obituaries are noted. --Kim (talk) 20:37, 17 January 2016 (MST)

Ethnomultimedia (, This is a website that is trying to collect and promote diverse ethnomusicologic material created by emerging scholars. It holds books by diverse authors and the content covers different topics in world music. Most of the publications are supplemented with video and audio, they can be streamed on-line if the user creates and account for free. It is still in a early stage, but seems to be growing fast. - Nico

Biblioteca Digital del Partimonio Iberoamericano (, The Biblioteca Digital del Partimonio Iberoamericano (Ibero-American heritage digital library) is a project that focuses on the development of a digital portal where the user can find access to diverse materials on the participating libraries. On a single website the user can find the location of maps, sound recordings, manuscripts, scores and many other music collections. Participant libraries are the National Libraries of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Spain, Panama, Portugal and Uruguay. It does not store digital objects, it shows the location of the physical material and its bibliographic information. The website is in Spanish, Portuguese and English. - Nico

Audio for EM and WM

Audio websites

Contemporary World Music This database can be accessed through the U of A library database search. Contemporary World Music contains 50000 tracks. It is user friendly and allows you to search by genre, place, cultural group, instrument, and album. - Meghan

NAXOS Music Library This database can be accessed through the U of A library database search. NAXOS has sections for Jazz/Folk/Blues, Chinese Music, and World/Folk. It is easy to access and has a large selection of albums to listen to. - Meghan

Emusic This website is one of the most comprehensive listings of downloadable music on the internet. Subscribers are able to choose from over 3.5 million titles across all musical genres (including about 25 000 world music titles) and pay approximately 40 cents per download. The music sold on this website comes from independent record labels and the website claims that the quality of music goes beyond that found in the commercial mainstream. - Sten

Classics Online A classical music source first, the website also has a “world music” section, categorized by nation, available for download on a per song basis (not free). The categories of world music, intriguingly, are Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, The Americas, and Chinese Folks. - Laryssa

Audiotube This is actually a website for music videos, which includes a world music section. The resulting selection is very contemporary, but the site is somewhat annoying since it seems searchable only by the top rated, most viewed or latest videos. - Laryssa

African American Song This website features over 16 000 tracks of recordings which are examples of jazz, blues, gospel, ragtime, folk songs, and other narratives from the African American tradition. These recordings are organized alphabetically, by genre, by time period, by instrument, by artist, by ensemble, by album, by label, and are soon-to-be organized by region as well. This audio database is available through the University’s libraries. - Jacques

The Virtual Gramophone-Library and Archives Canada-The Virtual Gramophone contains over 15 000 78-rpm or cylinder recordings of Canadian artists. Some of the music might be classified as 'folk music', while other works might fit better in a 'popular music' category ('popular' at that time). Nonetheless, this is a rich resource for Canadian music during the era of 78-rpm and cylinder recordings. - Daniel

Phonogrammarchiv-The Phonogrammarchiv is the oldest archive of recorded sound in the world. There is about 12 000 hours of recordings available through this archive. Although the U of A has not subscribed to this database, it is possible to sign up for access directly on the site. The website also provides a useful overview of the history of the archives, their mandate and information about publications. The site can be switched to English if need be. - Daniel

American Sabor: Latinos in US Popular Music A Smithsonian Institute 'online exhibit,' highlighting the historical influence and significance of Latin music in the US. An extremely interactive and flashy website -- users can access educational content for classroom purposes, browse artist bios, watch archival footage and interviews, listen to a jukebox/playlist, and even produce your own 'Latino inspired music' through the Sabor Mixer feature. Very accessible and informative; outlines how the development of American pop music genres can be understood as part of a lineage of Latino musical influence. - Stadnicki

FAU Judaica Sound Archives [18] An archival project that is based out of Florida Atlantic University for the preservation and digitization of Judaica recordings. Currently, only 10% of the archival holdings are digitized and some of which is accessible through the website (over 12000 songs). The site features performer bios and organizes the music according to genre -- Chassidic, Comedy, Yiddish, Israeli, etc. - Stadnicki

BBC. World Music Archive on radio 3. ( can listen variety of music from all over the world, archival collection available together with new world music releases. - Kanykei

Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University is the large university-based ethnographic sound archives, its holdings cover a wide range of cultural and geographical areas, and include commercial and field recordings of vocal and instrumental music, folktales, interviews, and oral history, as well as videotapes, photographs, and manuscripts. Some of the materials available trough NEOS. - Kanykei

Soundcloud - A huge, free, online resource for music lovers and artists to upload and share tracks, as well as connect into communities of similar interests and sounds. There is a huge amount of electronic music genres featured on Soundcloud, because of the platform's easy-to-use technology and widespread use by up and coming artists. Far from being restricted to electronic music, Soundcloud offers a wide range of genres. Users can search by genre, artist, song, or investigate currently trending sounds. [19] -Kelci

Discogs - Similar to Soundcloud, Discogs is an international network of music available online. It contains millions of tracks in a variety of genres and users can search by a number of different parameters to discover new music or listen to older favorites. [20] -Kelci

University of Washington: Ethnomusicology Musical Instrument Collection This collection houses hundreds of photographs as well as numerous audio and visual files from all around the world. The database has its limitations – these are picture, sounds and performance out of context – all the same, they offer a helpful point of reference during the research process, especially for one unfamiliar with the music. This would be an excellent resource for undergraduate students studying world music for the first time or for an instructor giving presentations on the subject. - Nick

Harvard University: The Archive of World Music As part of the Loeb Music Collection this archive is particularly useful for scholarship concentrated in Asian and Middle Eastern studies. The collection contains numerous recordings, along with both published and unpublished material of ethnomusicological interest. Specifically it houses one of the largest collections of material related to Turkish classical musical. The sound archive is continually expanding with shifted focus to gathering sources in South American music. - Nick

British Library Sounds (, Launched by the British Library, this project holds over 60,000 audio recordings organized on nine categories. The ones more interesting for our course are World & Traditional Music, Sound Maps and Sound Recording History. Despite the fact that this categories claim to be worldwide the reality is that is mostly is focused on material from the UK, Africa is well covered and Asia has a large amount of material. Many recordings can be played without subscription, but others require being part of a subscribed institution, University of Alberta is not one of them. - Nico

Smithsonian Global Sound, One of the most complete databases for audio recordings, video and books (it also incudes other cultural, health and sociological related topics). The audio collection is the biggest of the three and it offers recordings from all over the world including a World Music category with more than 13,000 entries. Many diverse cultural groups are cover evenly. It is very well organized and a search can be made by country, music style, ethnic groups, etc. UofA has access to this database. - Nico


(check on itunes to get a listing - mf)

Smithsonian Folkways- The Folkways Collection ( A series of one-hour podcasts that gives an overview of the Smithsonian Folkways collection. There are interviews with many important figures in folk music. - Sten

World Music Today This source has podcasts containing current world music from around the world. - Meghan

World Cafe This is a podcast from a show on NPR that features world music as part of an “alternative” music also including indie rock, folk, and blues. The most recent podcast, for example, includes an interview with Dan Tyminski of O Brother, Where Art Thou? fame. - Laryssa

All Music is World Music This is also from NPR, but as opposed to being a regular show, it’s a three-episode podcast of a performance of “genre-busting” pop musicians from Africa, Southern Europe and Scandinavia, highlighting some of the collaboration between North American and “world” musicians in the past. - Laryssa

Canada Live Podcast ( This podcast features highlights from the concerts broadcast daily on CBC Radio 2. Although these concerts sometimes feature classical music, this broadcast typically favours pop, jazz, roots, and world music. New podcasts are made available every Tuesday through iTunes and the CBC’s website. - Jacques

African Music Videos--Muparuts 10:30, 22 September 2008 (MDT) A good site for various African music videos listed by country. There various traditional and popular music videos featuring a variety of instruments and music styles. (http://www.musicvideos.the-real-africa.wml) Tendai

SOAS Talking Ethnomusicology – This brilliant series of podcasts is produced by the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. It features interviews with academics and musicians on a myriad of topics relevant to the field of Ethnomusicology. The current podcast can be streamed off of the website. If you subscribe to the podcast, it is an excellent tool as it opens a window into other academic perspectives and research. -Matt Trodden-

SOAS Archive Show – This podcast replays ethnomusicological field recordings and music from the archives of the School of Oriental and African Studies. It is an excellent resource for those interested in listening to and better understanding music from this expansive geographical region. -Matt Trodden-

The Voice of Fandom
This website would be a treasure house for an ethnomusicologist who chose to explore the genre of filk music. Included is a Voice of Fandom podcast, that contains commentary pertinant to the Science Fiction fandom as well as a significan amount of Filk music. New podcasts come out every month or so, and archived podcasts are available through the website.--Cari 12:29, 19 September 2008 (MDT)

KEXP’s Music That Matters ( KEXP DJs bring audiences the music that matters from some of their favorite independent artists from the Pacific Northwest and around the world. The theme of the latest volume is in geographic vibes. They feature similar artists from different locations from US, Canada, Sweden and England. - Ran

The List Music Podcast ( This podcast is simple to follow. Four hosts, Richardo Ultreras, Jenny Coyle, JuanJose De La Cruz and VK Lynne, choose a theme and list songs that relevant in the theme. This is a good choice for those who prefer hearing selected music have common thread. - Ran

WM Record labels

Scholarly labels

Norton - Soundscapes: Exploring Music in an Changing World This series of CDs is compiled by Kay Kaufman Shelemay. It is listed under music appreciation in the library catalogue, but provides a survey of folk music and music from various cultures (both vocal and instrumental) which could be useful in introductory ethnomusicological studies. MT 90 S53 2006 discs - Meghan

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings The Folkways label contains music, soundscapes, spoken word, educational albums, and other sound material from around the world. What is interesting about this label is the detailed liner notes that accompany the recordings, and the large quantity of music recordings from places around the world, many of which were recorded before there was a large World Music genre. All the recordings can be accessed on CD through our library's recorded music collection, with original LP's at the Canadian Center for Ethnomusicology. In addition you can listen to them online (and even read the liner notes in PDF) through Smithsonian Global Sound. This database also contains music from other archival audio collections, including material collected for the International Library of African Music (ILAM) as well as music collected by recordists on the South Asian subcontinent from the Archive Research Centre for Ethnomusicology (ARCE).--Cari 15:42, 18 September 2008 (MDT)

Auvidis/UNESCO On the Library website, a search on UNESCO collection and [sound recording] brings up 117 albums of music from all over the world. Many of these contain liner notes by specialists in the subject area. - Laryssa

Folkways Records Folkways Records was originally the label of Folkways Records & Service Corp., which was founded in 1948 by Moses Asch with Marian Distler in New York City to document music, spoken word, and sounds from around the world. With more than 22,000 titles, Folkways grew to be one of the largest and most influential independent record companies in the world. In 1987, following the death of Moses Asch, the Smithsonian Institute acquired the label and all of its files and assets. As one of the terms of that deal, the Smithsonian agreed to keep all titles in print, which they continue to do to this day under Smithsonian Folkways. (Cited at --Kim (talk) 20:43, 17 January 2016 (MST)

Popular labels

National Geographic On the National Geographic website, music can be purchased by the song. One can search music by genre or by region. This CD label is available to the general public and is quite user friendly. - Meghan

Putumayo World Music ( This record label features music from around the world and claims to appeal to the less commercial "non-traditional market". The website includes links to a radio program, information about artists and a catalogue. - Sten

Nonesuch Records This company has an extensive on-line store of music in a variety of traditions, catering to many different tasts. It carries recordings of works by renowned twentieth-century composers such as John Adams and Philip Glass, American traditional and popular music, as well as traditional music from around the world. There are also links to Nonesuch Radio station and a selection of media clips. - Sten

Lyrichord This is an independent label focused on early music, classical music, world and traditional music. Interestingly, one of the recordings featured as a “classic reissue” on the websitewhen I visited included Exotic Music for the Oud, which may reveal a particular perspective. However, there are a number of sources available for purchase through their website which appear already on this Wiki page (presuming one wished to purchase a personal copy). - Laryssa

Arhoolie Records This label’s focus is “regional vernacular musics” (from their website), including blues, Cajun, zydeco, oldtime country, gospel, jazz, tejano and world. Their world music offerings are somewhat scanty, with the exception of Mexico. - Laryssa

Real World Records ( This label provides a platform for talented artists from all around the world to hear and/or be heard from other countries. Their website provides several ways for audiences to get the recordings. - Ran

Universal Music Group ( UMG is multifunction company in recorded music, music publishing and merchandising. Bunch of artists from four geographic regions, North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific, signed to UMG makes UMG as the leader in both international and local repertoire. - Ran

Topic Records Begun in 1939 as the recording branch of the UK's Worker's Music Association, and currently the oldest independent record label in the world, Topic Records's history is as interwoven with that of Britain's folk revivals as it is with the country's political left. The label's catalogue also features a “World Series” of ethnographic recordings from all over the world, made in conjunction with the International Music Collection of the British Library National Sound Archive. - Dana

World Music Network I don't think it is too much of an exaggeration to say that World Music Network is the granddaddy of commercial world music record labels. Its catalogue is extensive, with series that vary from the well-known “Rough Guides” to music from various parts of the world, to re-releases of recorded material by legendary jazz and blues artists like Ella Fitzgerald and Muddy Waters. - Dana

Audio Recordings

Classical Music of Iran, The Dastgah Systems (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, SFW40039) The performances of some famous Persian Music musicians were collected and compiled by Ella Zonis Mahler in an audio CD. Ten of the twelve dastgahs are represented here, in a variety of instrumental and vocal performances. The liner Note is so helpful and includes information about Persian Classical Music, the musical structure of each performance and even the poems of the songs. The recording is available online through the U of A library’s website. –Hamidreza

The Art of Improvisation (Naxos Music Library, SM1530-2) This album is the improvised performance of Hossein Alizadeh, the master of Persian Classical Music, in Rast-panjgah Dastgah with the Tar and the Tanbur. Madjid Khaladj is also accompanied him with the Tonbak and the Daf. The Album does not have any Linear Note or some information about the performance. However, the Rast-panjgah Dastgah is usually performed to modulate the musical modes, as the order of tracks shows these modulations. The recording is available online through the U of A library’s website. –Hamidreza

Cape Breton Fiddle and Piano Music by The Beaton Family of Mabou (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia). Smithsonian Folkways records, 2004. A unique CD bringing together recordings by several generations of the Beaton family, with an archival track from the 60s to present day compositions by the younger generation. Available as an electronic resource from the U of A library website. - Etelka

Turath: The Masterworks of the Middle East by Simon Shaheen and colleagues. CMP Records, 1992. This album features ensemble performances of Classical Arab and Ottoman Turkish compositions as well as solo improvisations, showcasing virtuosic playing of various instruments used in the Middle East. A useful and high quality audio resource for an overview of music in the Middle East. Can be found in the U of A library under the call number M 1828 S526 T92 1992. - Etelka

Music of Nova Scotia / Forrester’s Cape Breton Scottish Dance Company, neos.4864993. This audio recording, available online through the University of Alberta library website, is representative of traditional music in Cape Breton. While most of the tunes originated in Scotland, the recording also features Scottish-Canadian compositions. - Cara-Joy

Songs from Cape Breton Island / North Shore Singers, neos.5507145. Part of the Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries series, this recording is a collection of “milling” songs, sung in Gaelic and accompanied only by bodhran. Recorded in 1955, the project was an attempt to preserve traditional Gaelic singing in Canada, at a time where pipes were in high demand, but Gaelic singers were not. The recording features music that came primarily from the Hebridean Islands in Scotland. - Cara-Joy

In the Footsteps of Babur: Musical Encounters from the Lands of the Mughals - Homayun Sakhi (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2010) M 1824 A35 SI58 2010 (Rutherford). This audio recording demonstrates the beautiful fusion of music from Persia, Central Asia and India that was the by-product of Mughal influence and legacy. A work of the Aga Khan Music Initiative, this work brought together musicians from Afghanistan, India and Tajikistan. Contextually this musical work tries to recreate the form and tradition which existed at the time of Babur’s rule which was vast and extended throughout South and Southwest Asia. During the 16th and 17th centuries, Babur’s descendants - the Mughal rulers Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb - continued their expansion and consolidation of the Mughal Empire until it covered almost the entire subcontinent. This musical CD makes use of instruments such as Santur, Tabla, Rubab, Sitar and Tanbur, covering musical traditions from Jammu and Kashmir, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. - Arsh

Gurbani: Shabad Kirtan by the Hazuri Ragis of the Golden Temple - (Living Media 1994) M 2145 S57 G87 1994 (Rutherford). - A very useful audio recording for anyone wishing to explore the Gurmat Sangeet tradition of Sikhism. It is available in the Rutherford library. It was recorded in 1994 and represents a small but important sub-section of the Sikh musical style, and includes several well-known shabads. - Arsh

Iranian Musician - BBC Documentary In this two-part audio documentary on Iranian music, Simon Broughton presents a good introduce of Iranian musicians. The documentary talks about political events in Iran and their impacts on Iranian music. (For example the fact that after Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran's classical music has flourished, with the full support of the government). Spike fiddle player Kayhan Kalhor leads an ensemble in some classic pieces of Persian music, performing in a home in Teheran. Links to youtube: - Morteza

Ritual of War in Taiwan. This is a very intriguing short audio documentary (5”24’). In the humid, rainy mountains of Taiwan, the Tsou people celebrate Mayasvi, dedicated to the god of war. Link: - Morteza

¡Ayombe! The Heart of Colombia's Música Vallenata (SFW40546) This album, recorded in 2008 by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, features in-studio recordings of traditional songs by professional musicians from Columbia. The dominant instrument within the songs featured on this CD is the accordion, which is also displayed on the album cover – from this image, one could say that the accordion is the “heart” of Colombia’s vallenata music. It is clear that this album is meant for listening enjoyment as it is not direct recordings from the field. It is available for purchase through the Smithsonian Folkways website, and it is also available for listening through the University of Alberta Library online. - Julia

Songs and Ballads of Newfoundland (FW03505) Folkways Records released this album in 1956. Kenneth Peacock was one of the most prominent collectors of traditional Newfoundland songs. Between 1951 and 1961, Peacock collected many songs that reflected the influence of British folk song upon Newfoundland music. This album is performed entirely by Peacock, who uses only his voice for the recordings. This is likely to better tell the story within the text of the songs. It is available for purchase through the Smithsonian Folkways website, and it is also available for listening through the University of Alberta Library online. - Julia

Video for EM and WM

Online databases and websites

EVIA Digital Archive is a digital archive of ethnographic field video with a special focus on the fields of ethnomusicology, folklore, anthropology, and dance ethnology for use by scholars, instructors and students. This digital archive is available online through the U of A library’s website. –Hamidreza

Soundscape Explorations is a regularly updated online resource for internet videos that relate to acoustic ecology within different landscapes. [21] -Kelci

Kanopy. A film collection that includes many subjects from Sciences to Technical Training. The Art category it includes to the moment (2016) 348 Music films, among them many are devoted to World Music and Ethnomusicology (i.e. the Hugo Zemp Ethnomusicology Collection). It is not commercial based (no paid subscription nor a catalogue of available articles for purchase), everything can be streamed online. The University of Alberta is subscribed and it has complete access to all material. - Nico

Naxos Video Library. As the one dedicated to audio, Naxos Video Online is a large database of filmed content about music. Many video recordings can be streamed online. The organization for categories help finding material by “gender and programmes”, the subcategories “Musical Journey” and “World” are the ones that interests us, there is also a “Documentary” section that hold some videos about issues related with ethnomusicology and world music. Signing in by an associated institution is required, the UofA is not subscribed to this database. - Nico

Music and dance documentation

The JVC Video Anthology of World Music and Dance - Southeast Asia v.10 Indonesia 2 M 1627 J985 v.006-10 v.10 c.2 This video shows documentation of Indonesian song and dance. It includes storytelling to music, instrumental performances, as well as large group songs with traditional dancing. - Meghan

The JVC Video Anthology of World Music and Dance- Soviet Union volume 1 This video shows music and dance from various regions of the former Soviet Union (e.g. White Sea, Volga, Moscow). There is much unaccompanied singing and also some instrumental music as well as dancing. However, there is no English narration or booklet to explain what one is viewing. M 1627 J 985 v.023-26 v.23 - Sten

The JVC Smithsonian Folkways Video Anthology of Music and Dance of Europe v.1 c.1 This video covered the music and dancing of Iceland, Denmark, Ireland, Scotland, England, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Denmark. It included footage of just singing, nursary rhymes with actions, as well as singing and dancing. M 1 J954 1996 v.1 c.1 - Meghan

The JVC Smithsonian Folkways Video Anthology of Music and Dance Africa Volume 1 This video displayed examples of music from Egypt, Uganda and Senegal. The video comes with an extensive booklet giving an introduction to the music of these regions as well as specific information about each individual track found on the video. A really useful and informative introduction for someone unfamiliar with music from this part of the world. M 1 J 953 1996 v.1 c.1 - Sten

'The JVC Smithsonian Folkways Video Anthology of Music and Dance South Asia Volume 11' This volume of the series features devotional music and dance from different regions of India from a classical tradition. The segments are relatively short and sometimes edited, presumably to attempt to capture the essence of a dance before moving on to the next example. - Laryssa

National Film Board of Canada-Office national du film du Canada-Although the NFB includes documentaries on a number of subjects, there are some useful documentaries about traditional music and dance in Canada (I especially like the documentary about Jean Carignan). Office national du film du Canada is the French side of this company, with many different documentaries than the English side. - Daniel

Alexander Street Anthropology-This video database includes anthropological documentaries about different cultures around the world. This database does not cover music directly but can be very useful in gaining some insight into other areas of culture such as hunting-gathering, religious practices, folklore, social relationships, etc. ASA can be accessed through the U of A music library guide, in the video section. - Daniel

The Bloom Series - A Journey Through Transformational Festivals - The Bloom is a web series devoted to defining and documenting the emergent global phenomenon of "transformational festival culture." They investigate mainly outdoor, co-creative electronic festivals that feature visionary art and performance, workshop curriculums, a social economy of artists and vendors, and the involvement of sacred and ecstatic rituals. Director Jeet-Kei Leung and his team have mapped approximately 90 festivals worldwide that they have defined as "transformational" based on a series of requirements, which are outlined on their website here. [22] -Kelci

Trio P.A.J. Trio P.A.J. is a French group known for creating a musical space engrained with deep experimentation. They construct their sound from a blur of improvisatory technique along with the jazz and other contemporary stylings. They have a very intelligent complexity to their music, using instrumentation that, at times, situates them inside and outside the sphere of Western art music. As described by the French musician Pierre Jodlowski “This is query[ing] the 21st century, its relation to modernity and its questioning about pop music. As many tracks as much energy, so many sources, born from the vitality of a bold collaboration.” A copy of a music video is available via University of Alberta Internet Access. - Nick

Documentary films

Soul Resonance: Zimbabwean music spreading in North America and beyond
A preview of this documentary by Doug and Laurel Epps can be found at the website Dandemutande Zimbabwean Music Worldwide. This documentary looks at the popularization of marimba and mbira ensembles in the United States. While there are some exoticizing comments, and others that are Americentric (can I make that a term?), the soundtrack is almost purely marimbas and mbiras. And we can even listen to our very own Tendai. --Cari 18:08, 14 September 2008 (MDT)

Amir: An Afghan Refugee Musician's Life in Peshawar Pakistan This documentary film is available through the U of A library website. It was directed and edited by John Baily and put out by the National Film and Television School and the Royal Anthropological Institute. This film provides an introduction to the music of Afghanistan by following the story of a refugee from Afghanistan to Pakistan because of civil dispute. - Meghan

Between Two Notes This documentary film, directed by Florence Strauss, explores the heritage of classical Arab music in various different countries and cities (Paris, Cairo, Tel Aviv, Beirut). There are many interviews with musicians and experts in this field as well as musical excerpts. The video examines the importance of Arabic music in these different locales. - Sten

The Whirling Dervishes of Turkey This includes selections from the Sufi Ceremony of Remembrance, including Q'uranic recitation and meditation on the writings of Rumi. There is commentary that appears to be by members of the ensemble or the Sufi community, but the video itself is representational versus editorial. M 1824 T8 W67 1997. - Laryssa

Buena Vista Social Club Although the inclusion of this documentary film on Cuban music may be considered cliché, this film, which reunites legendary Cuban musicians for the recording of an album, is a valid record of music-making in post-Castro Cuba. The film also includes interviews with the musicians, interviews that deal with their musical careers in Cuba. - Jacques

Young @ Heart This is one of my absolute favourite movies and I am shamelessly including it into this list of ethnomusicological documentary films. This film focuses on the Young @ Heart choir, a senior citizens’ choir, whose average age is 81, from Northampton, Massachusetts. Of pertinence to ethnomusicological studies, however, this choir does not perform your typical war-time songs or the like; they perform contemporary popular music, songs by James Brown, Sonic Youth, Bob Dylan, and Coldplay. It is a touching account of the power of popular music and its relevance for any age group. - Jacques

Homayun Sakhi: The Art of the Afghan Rubab Documentary from 2007, made by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. It portrays Homayun Sakhi, a well-known Afghan rubab virtuoso, who had immigrated to California from Kabul. Highly informative about this lesser-known or documented musical culture, it also shows him pass on his knowledge to the next generation of migrant/immigrant Afghan children. It comes with an audio CD if you buy it (can be found on Amazon), but the documentary can be watched on - Etelka

Asiklar: Those Who Are In Love (Ethnographic Video Online) This documentary film, directed by David Grabias, is about Turkish musicians called ashiks, who have been part of Turkish culture for many years and their music and tales are essential elements of countryside life across Turkey. They sing stories and poems, accompanying themselves on an instrument called a saz. This documentary film is available online through the U of A library’s website. –Hamidreza

Folk Hibernia A BBC Four production, 2011. Directed by Mike Connolly, this documentary looks at the historical and political side of the Irish folk music revival, with plenty of video footage and interviews with notable performers (Paddy Maloney from The Chieftains, Liam Clancy from The Clancy Brothers, Christy Moore, etc). One of the opening statements sums it up in an acute way: "This documentary explores how Irish music has given the world a sense of Ireland, and Ireland a sense of itself." It can be watched in full on YouTube, search for "Irish Folk Music Revival" and is an hour and a half long. - Etelka

Benda Bilili (2010) This documentary covers the rise of Congolese band Staff Benda Bilili (meaning, 'look beyond appearances') -- a musical group whose majority of members are over the age of 50, wheelchair-bound due to polio, and homeless, living in and around the grounds of the Kinshasa zoo. The film's key star is the young Roger, inventor of his one-stringed 'satonge' and one of the many orphaned street youth who the Staff has mentored and looked after. The mythologization of the band is also quite reminiscent of the highly successful Buena Vista Social Club film, where the directors happen to 'discover' a group of musicians whose old age is representative of the spectrum of social and political conflicts that have marred their country. Earlier versions of this documentary are also readily available through YouTube. - Stadnicki

VBS.TV (Music World) [23] This is an excellent web series made by the same producers of the 'Heavy Metal in Baghdad' documentary, featuring episodes about the rise of 'Donk' music in Britain, 'real' Norwegian black metal, the murders of famous Peruvian Huayno singers, and mobbed-out crooners in Naples. For those who are familiar with Vice magazine--most notably it's crude humor--these segments are not without their problematics, especially if we are to consider if these represent a form of musical ethnography. According to the show description, 'VICE spans the globe on an endless quest for good tunes, and the weird and sordid scenes that surround them.' Music World, as with a number of Vice video segments, is shot in the style of Gonzo or immersionist journalism; criticized for privileging the absurd and its spectacle; often placing too much emphasis on the experience of the writer/filmmaker. Is it ethnomusicological? I'm still not entirely sure...see for yourself! - Stadnicki

The Land Where Blues Began – This roughly shot documentary produced by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long is an historical source that provides a glimpse into the social world that formed the blues, combined with multiple live performances of blues music in its various formats. Lomax narrates the film, offering his perspective on the history of the blues and its origins. His main assertions are that blues music and its instruments have a direct link back to Africa, and that social hardships including various forms of work (riverboat, railroad, etc.) directly shaped the blues. Lomax, who spent years doing field recordings in the southern states, can be said to have taken an etic role in the film despite his extensive background and previous work with many of those interviewed. The documentary can me view at,109. -Matt Trodden-

Appalachian Journey – This documentary by Alan Lomax provides the viewer a look into the lives, history, and music of the people who make the Appalachians their home. Lomax provides commentary throughout as both a narrator and through cutaways. His extensive field experience provides the viewer an excellent historical and current overview of the people credited with preserving the English ballad. Lomax achieves this by examining the extensive role music plays in their society. The documentary can be viewed at,128. -Matt Trodden-

Inca Music, Journeys and Rituals / Filmakers Library, 2002. A fascinating documentary on research into the “ancient musical traditions of Peru, this video focuses on the efforts of two musicians to preserve and document musical rituals, as well as reproducing old instruments. Available through the Filmakers Library Online database. - Cara-Joy

Yiddish Soul / Filmakers Library, 2007. Discussing the resurgence of Yiddish music across Europe, this film delves into performances by artists from across the continent, who also define the origins of their interest in Yiddish music. Lyrics are subtitled in English. Available through the Filmakers Library Online database. - Cara-Joy

Electronic Awakening - An ethnographic documentary film investigating the spirituality and community of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) culture. Available on Youtube or the documentary website for a small fee. [24] [25] -Kelci

Metal: A Headbanger's Journey - Anthropologist Sam Dunn investigates how heavy metal music has evolved over time and been experienced by its fan base. Watch online VIA a quick google search. [26] -Kelci

Dreadful Memories (dir. Mimi Pickering, 1988) This film documents the life of Sarah Ogan Gunning (1910–1983), a singer from a mining town in Kentucky who, along with her brother Jim Garland and her half-sister Aunt Molly Jackson, ended up in New York City during America's first folk music revival in the 1930s. Sarah's original songs, a striking mixture of Southern mountain melody and Northern urban politics, are heart-breaking, and the film a straightforward and effective telling of her story. It can be viewed online here:,164 - Dana

Folk Britannia This three-part documentary series (dir. Mike Connolly) originally aired on BBC television in 2006, and chronicles the British folk music revival from the end of WWII to the present time. Consisting of a combination of archival footage and interviews with key-players (pun only half-intended), these hour-long films are well-constructed and engaging. Connolly does a particularly fine job of weaving the revival's journey into its dynamic political and social contexts. It's a great introduction to the British folk scene, if you're looking for one! The whole thing can be viewed (in sections) on youtube. - Dana

Introduce of Persian Classical Music, This is a very good introductory video for world music students to learn and hear more of Persian Art music instruments. The video was recorded in France TV in 1974. Some of great young musicians of the time who became mostly of the great composers and improvisers of the next decades are playing in this pretty short video. The language of the video is French with a Persian subtitle. Link on youtube: - Morteza

Documentary on Persian Music: 'Lost Melodies narrated by Hossein Alizadeh, This is a wonderful artistic/poetic documentary on ancient Persian music narrated by Hossein Alizadeh, a leading Iranian classical composer and musician. The documentary includes some wonderful old melodies left from old times which are even new to Iranian ears. The language is Persian with an English subtitle. Link on youtube: - Morteza

From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China directed by Murray Lerner. This is an amazing documentary film for Chinese music students. Lots of Chinese young musicians are lack of artistic interpretation rather than the technical skills. This might due to the Culture Revolution (1966-1976), which opposed all kinds of western influences and objected to whose who introduced western approaches. Isaac Stern visited and taught music in China and he found this huge problem of music students. – Ran

A Farewell Song directed by Arthur Jones and Luther Jones. This 2006 film was supported by the British Documentary Film Foundation. It concentrates on a group of retired Chinese musicians who all based in Shanghai. They were performers in local state-backed system, so they perform a series of cocertos from outside of the system in the film. The film follows their personal stories. – Ran

Breaking the Silence: Music in Afghanistan (BBC) - Directed by Simon Broughton; Produced by Carl Simons; Edited by David Charap (Netherlands, 2004). ML 345 A356 B74 2004 (Rutherford). This is a video about the return of music to Kabul in 2002. It has been filmed in Kabul and Peshawar (Pakistan) and shows the role that music was playing in the country at the time in re-affirming patriotism and identity during a dire socio-political situation. - Arsh

Sufi Soul: The Mystic Music of Islam - This film follows the personal journey of William Dalrymple into the mystical music of Islam through the Sufi musical traditions of Syria, Turkey, Pakistan, India and Morocco. He takes us through the music of the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey and the Qawalli music of Pakistan. Dalrymple’s film traces common roots through Christianity and Islam in the Middle East, and shows Sufism to be a very peaceful religion. Includes footage of performances by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Abida Parveen, Sain Zahoor, Mithu Sain and Junoon. YouTube Link: - Arsh

Subtango, the Spirit of Tango Subtango, the Spirit of Tango is a documentary by Sofia Vaccaro, available via University of Alberta Internet Access, on the social issues regarding the Tango as an expression of life and nationalist pride throughout the twentieth century. She investigates the role commercialism, attitudes regarding gender, and political strife have played in establishing tango as it is today. Nick

That Little Room: The Story of Erin’s Pub ( Produced in 2014 by Cats Eye Cinema, this documentary was originally released for Air Canada flights. Now it is only available through YouTube. Erin’s Pub is a bar in St. John’s, Newfoundland, that has certainly made its mark on the traditional Newfoundland music scene over the last 30 years. It helped launch bands such as Great Big Sea, Shanneyganock, and the Irish Descendants. In this 23 minute documentary, the director, Cody Westman, chronicles the 30 year history of this iconic Newfoundland bar. - Julia

Journey to the Roots: The Custodians of Tajik Musical Traditions In 80 minutes, ethnomusicologist Naim Khakimov portrays the main musical genres of Tajikistan. This project was funded by the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation and Open Society Institute “Assistance Foundation.” Unfortunately this documentary is only available for screenings if it happens to go on tour; however, one can watch the trailer either on YouTube or - Julia

Genghis Blues Genghis Blues (1999) is a documentary film directed by Roko Belic. It centers on the journey of blind American singer Paul Pena to the isolated Russian Republic of Tuva due to his interest in Tuvan throat singing. It won the 1999 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for a Documentary. It was also nominated for an Academy Award in 2000 in the Best Documentary Feature category. (Cited at This film can be found at --Kim (talk) 20:53, 17 January 2016 (MST)

Whose is this song? “Whose is this song?” is a film which treats with a sense of humor some typical Balkan traits including our constant strife to usurp somebody else's possession and at the same time keep what is ours to ourselves. In addition to this, “Whose is this song” is a film about a song and the transformations it underwent on its travels along the roads of the Balkans: in the different countries it has different faces and exists as a love song, a military march meant to scare the enemy off, a Muslim religious song, a revolutionary song, an anthem of the right nationalists, etc. (Cited from This film can be found at --Kim (talk) 21:17, 17 January 2016 (MST)

Feature films

Ethnomusicologist's blogs, project sites, and personal websites

Alan Lomax and Cultural Equity