One of only four Western music scholars allowed into Afghanistan in the late 1960s, Mark Slobin's body of work is a comprehensive documentation of music, culture, language and society in the Afghan North. Completed less than a year before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and subsequent anti-musical Taliban takeover, the historical significance of this project lies not only in its comprehensive coverage of the musical landscape of the region, but in its "time capsule" nature. No further musical, and by extension cultural, studies have been undertaken since, given the region's volatile unrest. The collection includes field recordings along with field notes, photographs, film footage, and background text.
This collection of Bayaka music is the largest and most comprehensive collection documenting the music, soundscapes and cultural landscape of one of the world's last remaining traditional hunter-gatherer societies. Drawn to the rainforests of the Central African Republic by some of the most beautiful singing in the world, New Jersey native Louis Sarno travelled there in 1985 with a one-way ticket and a tape recorder. Nearly 30 years’ worth of field recordings are presented in full. Sarno recorded every possible aspect of music making and soundscapes among the Bayaka, from hunting songs to the intricacies of the wider rainforest acoustic environment.
This little known but historically significant collection documents African American music and language in the Jim Crow South, with a focus on urban and suburban communities rarely documented at the time. It includes spirituals, hymns, and gospel music recorded by Walter Garwick between 1935-1937 from African Americans at various locations in Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia (including St. John's Island), Tennessee, and Alabama. In addition to sacred music, the recordings include Gullah prayers, sermons, tales, Br'er Rabbit stories, and vendors' street cries in South Carolina; spells, remedies, and tales recorded in South Georgia; dialect and folk plays; and some secular and children's songs.
This collection contains curated selections from Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy's lifelong research documenting the diversity of musical styles and genres across India and Pakistan. Jairazbhoy, a distinguished professor who helped to found the Department of Ethnomusicology at the University of California at Los Angeles, undertook one of the most comprehensive surveys of Indian music in the second half of the 20th century. Curated in collaboration Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology in New Delhi, digitization is ongoing, with new content being added regularly. The collection will grow to include Jairazhboy’s field recordings and contextualizing field notes from six major field trips across India.