From the wax cylinder to the MP3 tracking global trends in music has changed a great deal over time.
In 1933, the Lomax family of ethnomusicologists and folklorists traipsed around the world with a 315-pound phonograph recorder to collect the music and stories of dozens of cultures. Today, it might be more useful to fire up YouTube or MySpace to see what bubbles up.
But the digital music revolution has also made it easier for music to cross boundaries, for trends to spread, intermingle, and evolve much faster than ever before. And musical recordings, along with many of the tools used to share and create music online have often been victim to the impermanence of the web, making the job of the modern ethnomusicologist harder than ever.
Ethan Zuckerman sat down with one such ethnomusicologist, Wayne Marshall — a blogger, DJ, and post-doctoral scholar at MIT working on a book about global youth culture and digital music — to talk about his work.
Listen up! Comment on the show! Tweet us! And check out the reference section after the jump for links to our guests and more.
Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress
Creative Commons music courtesy of MorganTJ
This month, the Berklee College of Music and MIDEM, in association with the Berkman Center, are hosting the Rethink Music Conference, bringing together artists, industry representatives, policymakers, educators, and innovators to discuss this very issue: the future of creative works, their distribution, and the laws that regulate them. Look out for more on this as we continue this series about music and the music industry.