Vanderbilt University’s Vast New Archive of East African Music Now Available Online

Gregory F. Barz is a professor at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. Barz has a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Brown University. He fears that as Western culture — particularly popular music — spreads rapidly throughout the world, centuries-old musical traditions may be lost. Therefore, he has set about to create an archive of East African music.

Begun three years ago, Professor Barz’s Digital Collection of East African Recordings is the largest such archive in the world. The collection includes more than 2,000 musical performances, most of which were recorded on location in Kenya and Uganda.

Vanderbilt has created a Web site where these recordings can be heard online. Selections have a running time of between 45 seconds and one hour. Downloads are not permitted.

The archive can be accessed by clicking here.