As we have repeatedly pointed out in this section 2015 is the centenary of the birth of Alan Lomax, one of the most important scholars of popular music, whose eyes cross cultures of oral tradition (including the many branches that produce these in different cultural frameworks) helped all to better understand the structure, the meanings and content. We have seen that even in Italy, where Lomax worked in the fifties, in many ways, helping the development of ethnomusicology research, various events were organized in his honor. That, however, we are talking about is part of a larger project to make accessible all over the world the immense archive made by the ethnomusicologist from Austin. It was in fact announced the online publication of “The Kentucky Lomax Recordings”, which includes a number of documents collected between 1933 and 1942. It is a total of about seventy hours of recordings, made by Lomax, his father John, from his wife Elizabeth and other researchers through field research during the period mentioned above and especially in Eastern Kentucky. Among the documents there are ballads, narrative songs, “play-party ditties”, protest material, music for violin and banjo, hymns and devotional music, lullabies, etc. All material is available in full streaming audio, with the addition of interviews, segments of dialogues and numerous indications on the details of the research (data, instruments, performer, location etc.). Among the most interesting pieces is a version of “The house of the rising sun” of sixteen Georgia Turner of Middlesboro, it became the basis for the interpretations of Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk and Eric Burdon and the Animals.
Here is a link to the collection.
This article is available also in: Italian