The Library of Congress inaugurated the publication of the recordings that the ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax effected in Michigan since 1938. It is a key event for the reconstruction of the studies on music and musical cultures of that area of the United States, the destination of thousands of migrants in search of work in the era of the Great Depression. Although part of the archive of Lomax has already been published between 1978 and 1985 – about 400 hours of video products for the U.S. network PBS – and fed today in his Youtube channel, that related to his research in Michigan is a central block of his career and the history of ethnomusicology. Lomax spent about three months in that area, where he stayed longer than he had anticipated in its programs – which included also document elsewhere in the region – because he found a large quantity of materials. Among the documented repertoires there are blues songs, songs of lumberjacks, sailors, miners, ballads that document the memories and music reinterpretations of migrants from many regions of Europe. The archive of Michigan consists of 250 pieces performed for over one hundred singers and musicians, such as addition, eight reels of film and many photographs.
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