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Global Jukebox

Friday, April 28, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Marysol Quevedo
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It is my great pleasure to announce that the legendary Global Jukebox, initiated some years ago by Alan Lomax, who died before it could be completed, is finally available to all interested parties, as a freely accessible website. Thanks in large part to the heroic efforts of Alan's daughter, Dr. Anna Lomax Wood, and an extraordinary team of specialists and assistants at the Association for Cultural Equity. Here's the link: http://theglobaljukebox.org/

While in many ways still a work in progress, it contains a wealth of fascinating material that should be of interest to many if not all ethnomusicologists, musicologists, anthropologists and anyone with a serious interest in world music. Currently it is only the musical aspect that's available, with special attention to the "Cantometrics" database developed by Lomax and myself back in the 60's, but it will ultimately make other features of Lomax's performance-style research available as well, including Choreometrics (the comparative study of dance and movement) and Parlometrics (the study of speech-style).

One need not have a serious interest in Cantometrics to benefit from the resources made available therein, but for those with an interest in comparative research a very simple and straightforward method of querying the Cantometric database is available (see under the menu titled "Analytics"). I'll call your attention as well to the menu titled "Journeys," to which I've contributed, where specific style distributions are covered in some detail.

The heart of the Jukebox is the vast archive of field recordings available at the click of a mouse, a priceless resource that will be of interest to a great many music lovers, regardless of whether or not they intend to use it as a research tool. (Unfortunately, due to constraints stemming from the need to obtain permissions from rights-holders, the recordings are not available for download.)

There is a lot more to be said regarding this extraordinary resource, but the best way to learn is to enter the website and explore for yourself.

(An article on the Jukebox appeared in yesterday's NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/18/arts/music/alan-lomax-recordings-the-global-jukebox-digitized.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Farts&action=click&contentCollection=arts®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=15&pgtype=sectionfront )

Victor Grauer


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