ABSTRACT

Ethnomusicological research generates both commercially produced and archival audio recordings. During the last two decades, the publication of commercial recordings with music from diverse geographic locations has been driven principally by the mainstream music industry. The explosion of recordings identifi ed with the broadly defi ned “world music” category provided an opportunity for many consumers to experience and ultimately shape a market for recordings of musics from around the world recorded at festivals and concerts, in the studio, and in the fi eld. This period also saw musicians once recorded by ethnomusicologists for scholarly research move into the mainstream to produce musical fusions that have been marketed and packaged as popular music. The commercially produced recordings in this category contain limited documentation and have been promoted as music for entertainment. In the new millennium, the popularity of portable media has provided even easier access to music from around the world. Digital copies of individual pieces, quickly downloaded from the Web, are sold to consumers without notes or documentation. Throughout this period listeners have become increasingly separated from the contextual data for musical performance.