By Samir Shukla
The legendary musicologist Alan Lomax spanned the globe and recorded many forms of music. Tribal chants, folk music, healing chanting, classical music, traditional songs as well as other forms of human expression were all part of his gathering over several decades. Much of his recorded catalog is now available online as “The Global Jukebox.” Lomax was a musician, archivist, speaker, writer, and field recordist, among other hats he wore during his illustrious life. The Jukebox is his labor of love. This is more than just a collection of music. Specialists and tradition keepers have given the work a studied backdrop. The project is meant to be enjoyed as a listener, but also to educate via historical, ethnographic and other means into musical and dance traditions from around the world.
Myriad examples of world’s music, dance and other expressive behavior are now available on the jukebox, neatly organized under two sections. The “Map View” offers songs organized by geography and the “Tree View” presents songs organized by culture. There are many selections from the Indian Subcontinent covering India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh including tribal chants, folk and classical music.
The Association for Cultural Equity, the entity Lomax founded in 1983, is bringing the Jukebox to the world. In the near future if visitors want to create their own libraries of songs, metadata, and keep their own notes on the site, the jukebox promises to make this possible. Lomax intended his work to serve both as a medium for scientific research into human expressive traditions and as a tool for arts and education.
For details visit www.TheGlobalJukebox.org.