John and Alan Lomax were instrumental (no pun intended) in shaping the music I love. Here is a fine article about Alan.
Ethnomusicology is the study of music in its cultural context. Ethnomusicologists approach music as a social process in order to understand not only what music is but why it is: what music means to its practitioners and audiences, and how those meanings are conveyed.
—The Society for Ethnomusicology website
Born in Austin, TX in 1915, the life of Alan Lomax spanned most of the Twentieth Century. He was a musicologist, writer, producer, and musician and spent much of his life gathering field recordings of folk music.
Lomax’ passion didn’t spring up out of nowhere. His father was folklorist John Lomax, whose interest in cowboy songs led to his forming the Texas Folklore Society in 1909. (John’s daughter Bess was also a folkorist and musician.)
Lomax Sr. went on to collect more than ten thousand recordings for the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress. (It was subsequently renamed the Archive of…
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