Hugh Tracey Fieldwork Collection and the Sound of Africa Series
Description: The Sound of Africa series is one of the most comprehensive collection of field recordings from Central, Eastern and Southern Africa, a vast survey of musical genres and cultures. Hugh Tracey began studying African music in 1921, when he arrived from Devonshire, England in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He learned the Karanga dialect of the Shona language by working with Karanga farm workers in the fields. He soon developed a love for their music and was convinced of the enormous value of music in their lives. Almost immediately, however, he became aware of the resistance of the colonial community, in particular those in education, the church and government, to any suggestion that Africans had any culture or music that was worthwhile. He knew from personal experience that this attitude was mistaken, and this was the trigger for his life’s work. In his own words, as he wrote in 1973 in the introduction to the catalogue of his major publication from his field recordings, his Sound of Africa (210 LP) series: “The history of this collection of authentic African music, songs, legends and stories is in many ways a personal one. It dates back to the early 1920s when I first sang and wrote down the words of African songs I heard in the tobacco fields of Southern Rhodesia." Presented in original finding aid order, recordings are accompanied by Tracey's original handwritten field notes and field data.
Material sourced from the International Library of African Music. Copyright International Library of African Music.