Global Field Recordings

Delve into the cultural study of music and explore the rise of Ethnomusicology as a discipline with this essential collection featuring content from the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive and University of Washington.

Presenting content from across the globe, this diverse and comprehensive resource features thousands of audio field recordings and interviews, educational recordings, film footage, field notebooks, slides, correspondence and ephemera from over 60 fields of study, including sites in West Africa, North America, South East Asia and more.

Produced in collaboration with the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive – a world centre for the study of Ethnomusicology – the content within this collection gives access to the cultural and social lives of the source communities represented within the recordings; allowing users a unique insight into the musical traditions of these communities. This collection therefore allows for the study of cultural identity, social norms, religion and ritual, gender roles, as well as many other themes.

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Key Data

Period Covered

  • 1950-1980


  • Recordings from The Mantle Hood collection, including Javanese audio recordings, personal papers, and slides relating to the audio
  • The Ankica Petrović collection of Muslim, Christian and Jewish music from Eastern Europe (recorded in the 1980s), including extremely rare religious music
  • Charlotte Heth’s collection of Cherokee music, offering a unique insight into the music of the Cherokee Nation
  • The diverse Harold Courlander collection, featuring recordings from across South America, the Caribbean, South East Asia, and Africa
  • Cheryl Keyes’ ground-breaking collection of rap and hip-hop recordings and interviews. Keyes is considered a pioneer of hip-hop studies, and is the first scholar to conduct ethnographic research on rap music

Source Archives

  • UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive
  • University of Washington

Material Types

  • Field recordings and notebooks
  • Interviews
  • Slides
  • Photographs
  • Receipts and ephemera
  • Correspondence
  • Educational & studio recordings
  • Contemporary finding aids

Editorial Board

  • Patricia Campbell, University of Washington
  • Keith Howard, SOAS
  • Helen Rees, Herb Alpert School of Music, UCLA
  • Made Hood, Universiti Putra Malaysia
  • Jean Borgatti, University of Benin
  • Janet Topp Fargion, World and Traditional Music, Sound & Vision, British Library
  • Robert Garfias, University of California, Irvine
  • Maureen Russell, UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive
  • Sylvia Antonia Nannyonga-Tamusuza, Makerere University, Klaus Wachsmann Audio-Visual Archive


  • Education and the teaching of Ethnomusicology
  • The interaction between music and art
  • Religion and ritual
  • Cultural identity and social norms
  • Music and gender
  • Music and conflict
  • Musical traditions

Key Features

  • Essays and collection introductions from esteemed academics and ethnomusicologists
  • Video interviews 
  • Musical instrument map, featuring photographs, audio and video of the musical instruments featured within this collection