UCLA in the Ethnomusicology Archive

Since June 14th is the Ethnomusicology Graduation Reception, I thought it appropriate to highlight UCLA faculty and student collections in the Archive.  (And to remind everyone to consider donating your field recordings to the Archive!) 

Some of the Archive’s most important collections are UCLA faculty and student research field recordings, dating from the 1950s to the present.  A sampling of these collections include: Lois Anderson (Uganda), Flora Baker (Java), Donn Borcherdt (Mexico), Robert Brown (India), Laura Boulton (South Africa), Margaret Caton (Iran), Sam Chianis (Greece), Michael Crawford  (Indonesia), Peter Crossley-Holland (India), Jacqueline DjeDje (Ghana, Nigeria, Jamaica), Richard Hawkins (Chile), Charlotte Heth (Oklahoma Cherokee), Mantle Hood (Java), Nazir Jairazbhoy (India, Pakistan), Robert Kauffman (Zimbabwe), Roderic Knight (Gambia, Sierra Leone), Fredric Lieberman (Sikkim), Jacob Love (Samoa), Scott Marcus (India), Colin McPhee (Bali), Jose Maceda (Philippines), David Morton (Thailand), Linda O’ Brien (Guatemala), Dale Olsen (Venezuela), Mary Seavoy (Ghana),  Klaus Wachsmann (Uganda), Bonnie Wade (India) and D.K. Wilgus (United States).

I have mentioned some of these collections--Baker, Djedje, Kauffman, Morton--in previous posts.  So today I thought I might give brief highlights of several more.

Donald Knight (D.K.) Wilgus and Wayland D. Hand established Folklore studies at UCLA, and together founded the Folklore and Mythology Program in 1965.  Wilgus was the Program's first chair and served in that position for 17 year.  He was a folksong and ballad scholar, indefatigable fieldworker, and renowned authority on Anglo-American folksong, "race" records and "hillbilly" music.  This collection includes the Archive of California and Western Folklore.  His field recordings have been preserved and are being made available for online listening through the support of two preservation grants from the GRAMMY Foundation.

Don Ellis was a jazz trumpeter, composer and bandleader.  Ellis is probably best known for his extensive musical experimentation.  Ellis' rhythmic innovations came as a direct result of his studies in non-Western musical cultures, which included graduate work in UCLA Ethnomusicology.  In The New Rhythm Book, Ellis wrote, "The longest meter I have attempted to date is a piece in 172.  But this isn't so far-fetched as one might think at first, because at the Department of Ethnomusicology at UCLA I learned of one folk song with a 108 beat cycle!" 

As part of the Archive's 40th Anniversary Symposium "Found Sound," a concert was held in Schoenberg.  The second half of the concert was a tribute to Don Ellis.  Ellis compositions "Homecoming," "Invincible," and "Indian Lady" were performed by the UCLA Jazz Ensemble and former members of the Don Ellis Band.  Glenn Stuart, lead trumpeter in the Ellis bands, served as guest conductor and played Ellis' quarter-tone trumpet; Professor Steve Loza also took a turn on the quarter-tone trumpet.   (And, yes, we do have a recording of the concert.)

This brings us to the UCLA Ethnomusicology Audiovisual collection, arguably our most highly-used collection.  It includes audiovisual recordings documenting guest artists, lectures, and performance ensembles associated with Ethnomusicology at UCLA.  Due to the pioneering and central role UCLA played in the discipline, this collection represents not only UCLA Ethnomusicology's disciplinary memory, but that of much of the discipline throughout North America.

I also feel it important to mention that for the first 40 years of the Archive's existence, the Department funded three Ethnomusicology GSRs to work in the Archive (and to this day, Ethnomusicology students work in the Archive).  To name but a few of the Archive Assistants... Linda O'Brien-Rothe (Ph.D. 1975), Fred Lieberman (Ph.D. 1976), Peggy Caton (Ph.D. 1983), Paul Humphreys (Ph.D. 1988), Chuks Iwotor (M.A. 1989), Lisa Richardson (M.A. 1995), James Makubuya (Ph.D. 1995), Wanda Bryant (Ph.D. 1995), Jean Kidula (Ph.D. 1998), Jay Keister (Ph.D. 2001), Robert Reigle (Ph.D. 2001), Kathleen Hood (Ph.D. 2002), Ray Briggs (Ph.D. 2003), Amy Wooley (Ph.D. 2003), Vasana de Mel (Ph.D. 2006), Meilu Ho (Ph.D. 2006), Jonathan Ritter (Ph.D. 2006), Kevin Miller (Ph.D. 2008), Charles Sharp (Ph.D. 2008), Ann Lucas (Ph.D. 2010), Kristina Nielsen (M.A. 2013) and Brigita Sebald (Ph.D. 2013).

And without further ado, congratulations to the Ethnomusicology class of 2013!


Arianna Afsar* - Ryan Baca - Elenice Behnia - Oliver Brown - Andrew Cedar* - Owen Clapp* - Jacob Ferrin - Katherine Godec - Stephen Harris* - Ayana Heidelberg - Braeden Henderson - Nathan Kersey-Wilson* - Young Rae Kim - Seung Hyun Lee* - Samuel Lieberstein - Rebecca Luce - Christina Marandola - Guillermo Mendez - Forrest Mitchell* - Jazmin Morales - Micah Nacita* - Austin Quan - Dorothy Soto - David Villafana - Kevin Willoughby - Nicolette Yarbrough (* Jazz Studies)


Victoria Ahrens - Kevin Levine - Alyssa Mathias - Kristina Nielsen - Larry Robinson - Eric Schmidt - Darci Sprengel


Chloe Coventry - Michael Iyanaga - Jesse Ruskin - Brigita Sebald - Leticia Soto - Angsumala Tamang

 Ethnomusicology B.A. Class of 2013, when they started in Fall 2009 (Photo courtesy Donna Armstrong)


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