About the Jukebox
The Global Jukebox explores connections between families of expressive style. One can travel the world of song, dance and language through the Wheel Chart and the Map. Thousands of examples of the world’s music, dance and other expressive behavior are available here. The Global Jukebox is presented as a free, non-commercial, educational place for everybody — students, educators, scholars, scientists, musicians, dancers, linguists, artists and music fans can all explore expressive patterns in their own cultural-geographic and diasporic settings and alongside others’. By inviting familiarity with many kinds of vocalizing, musicking, moving, and talking, we hope to reconnect people and communities with their creative heritage and to advance cultural equity.
There are many ways to explore and listen, experimentally or systematically, with searches or randomly. Visitors may read the description of each selection and view the codings, or learn to make codings themselves. Journeys by area specialists and tradition bearers will take visitors into the heart of particular traditions and cultures, and certified lesson plans for grades K-12 offer historical, ethnographic and educational ways into new worlds of music and dance.
We hope the Jukebox will become an interactive center for discovering, exploring and researching expressive culture, with links to past and present work in the field, tools to contribute samples of song, dance, and speech, and guidelines for coding each dataset.
The site will host teaching systems for both Choreometrics and Cantometrics, and links to information on these projects. With the guidance of experienced music and movement analysts, these resources can enable committed students to learn these systems of analysis to an extent that suits their needs. We work with curriculum consultants to develop K-12 curricula and college course material. A more profound understanding of expressive culture will help to produce truly global citizens.
The identifying and descriptive data for each song has taken over three years and the work of several individuals to compile, and will remain a work in progress for some time. Culture latitude and longitude come from Glottolog.org. Local latitudes/longitudes place familiar villages and localities of origin of the material; these are sometimes omitted or approximate due to the scant documentation or due to the movement or disappearance of populations. Ideally, song “titles” or first lines are given in their native languages, but we are not always able to locate this information in the collectors’ notes or in other sources; in such cases we have used English translations or generic descriptive titles. The culture descriptions will take additional months to enter. There are other particularities, but we hope that our public will be patient. We will gladly receive any corrections and missing information from our visitors or the contributors and performers of the songs here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Americans, Aboriginal Australians and members of other indigenous and ethnic communities should be aware that that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in audio recordings, film, or in print. Descriptive data and analyses on this site may contain terms reflecting authors’ views or the period in which the documentation was gathered, and may not be considered correct or appropriate today. This material may not reflect current understanding or the views of the Association for Cultural Equity, but is provided for scientific and historical accuracy.
The Legacy of an Historic Project
The Global Jukebox project will make available to the general public, scholars and scientists all of the data and many of the analyses of the research into the expressive arts carried out under the direction of Alan Lomax and the anthropologist Conrad Arensberg from 1960 to 1995 at Columbia University and Hunter College/CUNY. It contains all of the coded data and analyses of Cantometrics, Choreometrics, Parlametrics, Phonotactics, Minutage, Thematic Analysis, Instruments and Orchestras, and Socio-Cultural Factors. These are comparative studies of expressive style in relation to culture undertaken by Lomax with Arensberg, Victor Grauer, Irmgard Bartenieff, Forrestine Paulay, Norman Markel, Edwin Erickson, Roswell Rudd, Andrew Kaye, Norman Berkowitz, Michael Del Rio and others. It was an exciting project that generated controversy and returned a mother lode of intriguing results. We have begun testing these and when we release the data, we hope that others will follow suit.
Our intention is twofold: to make the data available to science, and through the experience of the Global Jukebox, make the media and database available to everyone. It will be possible to add new samples. If visitors want to create their own libraries of songs, metadata, codings, and keep their own notes on the site, we can make this possible. We will add analytic tools so that visitors may investigate and experiment on their own. We are performing new analyses of the data. They will be shared, visualized and explained on the Jukebox, as will the data itself.
The comparative method used here is one way of arriving at an understanding culture. It should be complementary to other ethnographic and historical approaches. Using both methods together would be a fruitful exercise.
Most of the collectors credited herein agreed to allow Alan Lomax to use their material for his study of expressive style and a forerunner of the Jukebox, an unpublished project entitled World Folk Song as well as Cantometrics, A Method in Musical Anthropology, published by University of California Extension Media. Their recordings and films were those the expressive style carefully chose and coded for Cantometrics, Choreometrics, Parlametrics, Phonotactics and the other studies herein, and then are now in The Global Jukebox. Physical copies are presently housed within the Alan Lomax Collection at the American Folklife Center at The Library of Congress in Washington D.C. We thank the individual collectors and archives who have permitted us to stream their recordings here; the Smithsonian Folkways and the International Library of African Music; and the Centre de Recherche en Ethnomusicologie of the CNRS, France for lending help and support in contacting rights holders in their archives. Above all we thank the many artists and tradition bearers who have lent their voices to posterity.
Most of the collectors credited herein agreed to allow Alan Lomax to use their material for his study of expressive style and an unpublished project entitled World Folk Song, as well as Cantometrics, A Method in Musical Anthropology, published by University of California Extension Media. Their recordings and films were those the expressive style carefully chose and coded for Cantometrics, Choreometrics, Parlametrics, Phonotactics and the other studies herein, and then are now in The Global Jukebox. Physical copies are presently housed within the Alan Lomax Collection at the American Folklife Center at The Library of Congress in Washington D.C. We thank the individual collectors, institutions and archives that have permitted us to stream their recordings here; the Smithsonian Folkways and the International Library of African Music; and the Centre de Recherche en Ethnomusicologie of the CNRS, France for lending help and support in contacting rights holders in their archives. Above all we thank the many artists and tradition bearers who have lent their voices to posterity.
Twenty-three Australian Cultures and sixty-five Indigenous North American Tribes in Canada and the United States are represented in our Archival Materials. Audio and video recordings of these peoples will not be published on the Global Jukebox until we have obtained permission from their Tribal Representatives.
Rights & Access