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Anthropology Research Guide: Ethnomusicology

This guide covers...

Ethnomusicology: the relationship between music and human culture in different social contexts.

Folk music: heritage or oral-tradition music associated with a particular geography, nation, or social group.

World Music: any music from outside of North American & European contexts.

Finding Articles in Ethnomusicology

Anthropology Plus has ethnographic, folklore, and cultural articles related to ethnomusicology.

RILM Abstracts covers articles, conference papers, essays, books, and dissertations, with an international scope. Click "UC eLinks" to find the full text.

Music Index Online has news and articles about music, musicians, and the music industry--including reviews and obituaries.

Music Periodicals Database (IIMP) includes both peer-reviewed and popular magazine articles in music.

JSTOR has academic articles; under Advanced Search, choose Journal Filter for "anthropology" and "music."

Audio and Video


Ethnographic Sound Archives Online UCB access only includes fieldnotes and audio recordings of music from around the world.

Encyclopedia of Global Music includes full discs. Try "dombra" to listen to a two-stringed Kazakh instrument. 

Smithsonian Global Sound is your best source for streaming audio of world and folk music.

British Library Sounds includes ethnographic recordings organized by geography and culture.

UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive has folk and international music and speeches originally recorded on wax cylinders.

The Global Music Archive has East African (and Appalachian) music and dance recordings.


For streaming ethnographic or ethnomusicology films, see Ethnographic Video Online as well as Kanopy.

The EVIA Digital Archive has raw clips of music and video. You'll need to create a login while on campus.

Reference Sources in Ethnomusicology

Reference books are a great place to start when learning about an instrument, musical style, or culture.

Oxford Reference Online (Music) lets you search Grove Music Online (music biography encyclopedia), the Oxford Companion to Music (explore forms and styles of music), and the Oxford Dictionary of Music (musical terms and instruments) all at once.

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music has liner notes, articles, and access to audio, organized by instrument and culture.

Finding Books

There are three ways to find books and ebooks at Berkeley:

1. Search with "keywords" to find words in the title, author, or description of a book. Note that this doesn't search the full-text! Try using words like "folk music" "national music" "ethnic music" "ethnomusicology" and your country or people group.

2. Search by "subject" to find book topics as organized by the librarians. Any time you see a subject, you can click the link to see similar books! Subjects to search: 

  • Ethnomusicology
  • Folk music -- [name of country]
  • Indians of North America -- music
  • Music -- social aspects
  • Popular music -- [name of country]
  • National songs
  • World music

3. Browse on the shelves! Check these sections of the Anthropology and Music libraries:

M 1685-1853

for national music, by country

ML 3544-3785

for research on music, by region or country

ML 3797-99

for ethnomusicology

Related Guides

For more general resources in music, see our music guides.