Smithsonian Global Sound

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Smithsonian Global Sound
Founder Smithsonian Institution
Genre Folk, World, Children's, Jazz, Blues, and more
Country of originUnited States
Location Washington, D.C.
Official website www.folkways.si.edu

Smithsonian Global Sound (SGS) is the digital archive project of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (SCFCH), launched in 2005 by Smithsonian Folkways, the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution. Its stated mission is to preserve and disseminate a wide range of the world's music. By making the archives of Smithsonian Folkways and its partner organizations available for online purchase and downloading, Smithsonian Global Sound brings the promotion and preservation of local traditions into the global digital age.

Smithsonian Folkways is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution. It is a part of the Smithsonian's Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, located at Capital Gallery in downtown Washington, D.C. The label was founded in 1987 after the family of Moses Asch, founder of Folkways Records, donated the entire Folkways Records label to the Smithsonian. The donation was made on the condition that the Institution continue Asch's policy that each of the more than 2,000 albums of Folkways Records remain in print forever, regardless of sales. Since then, the label has expanded on Asch's vision of documenting the sounds of the world, adding six other record labels to the collection, as well as releasing over 300 new recordings. Some well-known artists have contributed to the Smithsonian Folkways collection, including Pete Seeger, Ella Jenkins, Woody Guthrie, and Lead Belly. Famous songs include "This Land Is Your Land", "Goodnight, Irene", and "Midnight Special." Due to the unique nature of its recordings, which include an extensive collection of traditional American music, children's music, and international music, Smithsonian Folkways has become an important collection to the musical community, especially to ethnomusicologists, who utilize the recordings of "people's music" from all over the world.

Smithsonian Institution group of museums and research centers administered by the United States government

The Smithsonian Institution, established on August 10, 1846 "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge," is a group of museums and research centers administered by the Government of the United States. The institution is named after its founding donor, British scientist James Smithson. Originally organized as the "United States National Museum," that name ceased to exist as an administrative entity in 1967.

Contents

Part of SGS’s mission is to support local musicians and traditions from around the globe through international recognition, the payment of royalties, and partnership with regional archives. SGS collaborates with institutions around the planet to record, catalog and digitize music and other verbal arts and distribute them via the Internet. It promotes the honoring of intellectual-property rights of composers, musicians, and producers by ensuring that royalties are paid to artists and institutions, internationally.

As of September 1, 2009, Smithsonian Global Sound was combined with Smithsonian Folkways to provide a single destination for access to all the recordings, videos, and educational resources of Smithsonian Folkways and partner archives. Going forward, the activities of Smithsonian Global Sound will continue under the name Smithsonian Folkways.

History

The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage began the mission of recording, archiving, and distributing the world's music in 1987, the year it acquired Folkways Records and its archive of 2,168 album titles. The Center maintains the original catalog in print, along with some 300 titles, newly recorded or re-released from the archive.

Folkways Records was a record label founded by Moses Asch that documented folk, world, and children's music. It was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in 1987 and is now part of Smithsonian Folkways.

In February 2005, Smithsonian Global Sound was created to digitize this vast collection of recordings and make it available in new media. It now offers nearly the entire Folkways and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings catalogues and the collections of two regional archives: the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology (ARCE), founded in 1982 to preserve collections of Indian music and oral traditions in New Delhi, India and the International Library of African Music (ILAM), established in Grahamstown, South Africa in 1954 as a repository of African music.

International Library of African Music

The International Library of African Music (ILAM) is an organization dedicated to the preservation and study of African music. Seated in Grahamstown, South Africa, ILAM is attached to the Music Department at Rhodes University and coordinates its Ethnomusicology Programme which offers undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in Ethnomusicology that include training in performance of African music. ILAM, as the largest repository of indigenous African music, is particularly known for its study of the lamellophone mbira of Zimbabwe and Mozambique, as well as the Chopi people's Timbila, a variant of the marimba from southern Mozambique.

Music of Africa overview of musical traditions in Africa

The traditional music of Africa, given the vastness of the continent, is historically ancient, rich and diverse, with different regions and nations of Africa having many distinct musical traditions. Music in Africa is very important when it comes to religion. Songs and music are used in rituals and religious ceremonies, to pass down stories from generation to generation, as well as to sing and dance to.

Global Sound plans on extending its offerings through agreements with other archives of traditional and classical music. To deliver high-quality audio, SGS assists partner-archives in acquiring digital recording and processing equipment and supporting technical training in its use. Global Sound is currently in negotiation with other archives and organizations from around the world for partnership with SGS. The Smithsonian has agreements for various online music vendors such as iTunes and eMusic, as well as a partnership with Alexander Street Press for use by universities.

iTunes media player and library software

iTunes is a media player, media library, Internet radio broadcaster, and mobile device management application developed by Apple Inc. It was announced on January 9, 2001. It is used to play, download, and organize digital multimedia files, including music and video, on personal computers running the macOS and Windows operating systems. Content must be purchased through the iTunes Store, whereas iTunes is the software letting users manage their purchases.

eMusic organization

eMusic is an online music and audiobook store that operates by subscription. In exchange for a monthly subscription eMusic users can download a fixed number of tracks to their MP3 players per month. eMusic was established in 1998, is headquartered in New York City with an office in London, and is owned by TriPlay.

Alexander Street Press multimedia database

Alexander Street Press (ASP) is an electronic academic database publisher. It was founded in May 2000 in Alexandria, Virginia, by Stephen Rhind-Tutt (President), Janice Cronin (CFO), and Eileen Lawrence. As of January 2016, the company had grown to more than 100 employees with offices in the United States, Australia, Brazil, China, and the United Kingdom. In June 2016, it was acquired by ProQuest.

Funding

The Creativity and Culture Program and the Program Investment Fund of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Paul Allen Foundation for Music have both provided initial support to Smithsonian Global Sound.

The Rockefeller Foundation is a private foundation based at 420 Fifth Avenue, New York City. It was established by the six-generation Rockefeller family. The Foundation was started by Standard Oil owner John D. Rockefeller ("Senior"), along with his son John D. Rockefeller Jr. ("Junior"), and Senior's principal oil and gas business and philanthropic advisor, Frederick Taylor Gates, in New York State on May 14, 1913, when its charter was formally accepted by the New York State Legislature. Its stated mission is "promoting the well-being of humanity throughout the world."

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