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eMusic Features


Smithsonian and Folkways: From Latin America to the Cosmos

By Richard Gehr, Contributor

According to Harold Courlander, when the ethnomusicologist asked Folkways Records founder Moses Asch sometime in the mid 40s if he'd like to release field recordings Courlander had made in Haiti, Asch replied, "I'd be crazy not to." That decision led to Courlander and Asch collaborating on what would become the Ethnic Folkways Library, a voluminous catalog of international music Asch hoped would comprise nothing less than "an encyclopedia of world sound." In his handsomely illustrated and… more »