University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. School of Music. Musicology Program. Ethnomusicology | University of Illinois Archives

Name: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. School of Music. Musicology Program. Ethnomusicology

Historical Note:

The Ethnomusicology Archives of the School of Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was created by Professor Bruno Nettl in 1968 as a repository for his field notes and recordings, as well as other materials in his collection. Since field recordings were integral to mid-century ethnomusicology, this archives was an important part of the ethnomusicology program at the University of Illinois which began four years earlier with the appointment of Nettl in 1964.

The first ethnomusicology audio archives at an American university was founded in 1935 at Columbia University by George Herzog, who modelled it after the first major ethnomusicology archive established by his mentor Erich von Hornbostel in Berlin, 1901. In 1948, Herzog began working at Indiana University, where he used the same guiding principles to establish the Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music. Nettl, a former student at Indiana University, brought this archival tradition to the University of Illinois.

In 1972, the Ethnomusicology Archives moved to a room in the newly constructed Music Building and was run by archivist and PhD student Avigdor Herzog. Herzog ran the Ethnomusicology Archives until 1975 and was succeeded by Stephen Blum from 1975-1979. Blum developed the catalog system of the archives. Charles Capwell, appointed in the late 1970s following Blum, was in charge of the Ethnomusicology Archives throughout the 1980s.

The Ethnomusicology Archives was originally conceived as a repository for the field recordings and documents compiled by ethnomusicologists conducting research through the University of Illinois. Some of the first recordings presented in the Ethnomusicology Archives were made by Nettl himself during his fieldwork in Montana among the Blackfoot people. Nettl's recordings from his fieldwork conducted in Iran also reside within the Ethnomusicology Archives, as do field recordings made by prolific scholars including Stephen Blum, Daniel Neuman, Ted Solis, Charles Capwell, Philip Bolhman, Tom Turino, and Virginia Danielson, all of whom were graduate students or faculty at the University of Illinois during the latter half of the 20th century.

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