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"Alan Lomax's iPod?": Smithsonian Global Sound and Applied Ethnomusicology on the Internet
Font, David Octaviano
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The phenomenon of digital music on the Internet marks a turning point in the way human beings make, listen to, and share music. Smithsonian Global Sound is, variously: 1) a digital music download service; 2) the central hub of a network of digital music archives; and 3) the Internet branch of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Like all things vital, Smithsonian Global Sound is also developing rapidly. This thesis synthesizes a brief history of the Smithsonian Global Sound project, explores some of the vital issues related to the project, and offers a series of observations and recommendations for the project's development. Tracing the roots of Smithsonian Global Sound back to early archival efforts by music scholars, Moses Asch's Folkways Records, the acquisition of the Folkways catalog by the Smithsonian, and the development and launch of Smithsonian Global Sound, the project is examined as a example of applied ethnomusicology on the Internet.