Here’s volume 6 of The World Library, one of the two volumes i was missing to have the complete World Library serie. This is a presentation of Scotland’s traditional music, recorded in part by Alan Lomax himself in 1951, (with the help of the Macleans of Raasey, Hamish Henderson and William Montgomerie) and there are some BBC recordings as well. 1951 was an important year in the history of Scottish music as in august of that year, the Edinburgh’s People Festival introduced on stage for the first time, many practicioners of traditional music. It was the start of a folk revival that would spread interest in these music for the years to come. Some of the key revivalists of that time are present on the record: Ewan MacColl, Isla Cameron and Hamish Handerson. Among the traditional singers, Jimmy Mac Beath and John Strachan would be recorded again by Lomax and some cds of the Alan Lomax Collection are dedicated to their fine singing. Instrumental music is present also with, among others, Jimmy Shand’s melodeon and John Burgess’ bagpipes playing.

Side 1:

Side 2:

Click here to download



I’d like to inform followers of the World’s Jukebox that i’ll post soon (i hope before the end of the year) the two missing volumes from the World Library collection (Scotland and Canada) as i managed at last to find some copies. So stay tuned…

This is the last volume in the World Library serie and it’s another stunning sampler of traditional music, this time from Bulgaria. It was recorded in the field by english folk singer and collector of folk song A. L Lloyd in the fifties. Most of the pieces here, either vocal or instrumental use a kind of minor scale and some assymetrical meters  typical of balkan dance music. Some instruments heard here are the gaida (goat-skin bagpipe), the kaval (a end-blown flute), the gadulka (bowed string instrument similar to the rebec) and the tambura (lute). The vocal pieces are poweful and moving, sung in open, full-throat style.

This excellent vinyl rip was contribued by a reader of this blog a few months ago and i thank him very much fort this. The zip file includes a pdf with the inside liner notes and photographs.

Download here

If you’re a fan of bulgarian traditional music like me, there are other great records available. A few years ago, Yazoo Records issued ” Song of the crooked dance”, a great collection of 78rpm records of Bulgarian music edited by Lauren Brody. And this days the english JSP label just released a whole box set of traditional bulgarian music on 78rpm records called “Outsinging the nightingale” edited by the same Lauren Brody. You can order this box set and learn more about her research on vintage bulgarian music by going to the “Song of the crooked dance” website.

This is the new cd edition of vol. 17 of The World Library, a survey of Romanian folk music recorded from the 1930’s to the 1950’s. It includes ballads, songs, dance tunes, ritual and pastoral music. The recording quality is excellent and the liner notes are very detailed and informatives but most important the traditional music you will hear is truly beautiful, both the vocal and instrumental performances are fascinating pieces of music you won’t hear anymore as most of this traditions are almost exctinct today or have been too much “folklorized”.

This volume was uploaded by a reader of this blog many months ago so i would like to thank him here.

DOWNLOAD HERE (MP3 tracks and booklet)

This is the second lp of the Italian recordings made by Alan Lomax In 1954. It includes traditional music from the southern part of the country and the islands, Sicily and Sardinia. Another great sample of the wonderful diversity and archaic beauty of italian folk music. Enjoy!

Side 1: Southern Italy

(Southern Italy mp3)

Side 2: The Islands

(The Islands mp3)

After a long absence, i’m back with a new volume of the World Library, one of the best of the whole serie IMHO… Alan Lomax traveled and recorded in Italy in 1954 with the help of italian ethnomusicologist Diego Carpitella. They recorded extensively and in all parts of the country including some islands. Many of this recordings are available now on cd in the Alan Lomax collection published by Rounder Records. So this lp and the next one (volume 16 of the World Library is devoted to the music of southern Italy and the islands) are only a sample of a vast treasury… Like Spain, the traditional music of Italy is very diverse and is the meeting point of many influences from european and mediteranean traditions. Some of the music heard here is from very old and antique traditions, surviving in isolated rural aeras for centuries and ignoring the streams of fine art music of the Renaissance.

As always, don’t forget to read the fine liner notes by Lomax and Carpielli that explains in detail all the traditions represented in the lp.


Northen Italy MP3

Central Italy MP3

For once i will not present to you the lp version of this volume of the World Library but the cd version Rounder records issued a few years ago. I don’t have this volume on lp but even if i had it the cd reissue is very well done and much more complete than the original lp. All the tracks are presented in their full version and there is a total of more than two hours and a half of music on the two cds. There are absolute gems and wonderful moments on this long compilation of music from the former Yugoslavia republic states. You’ll hear traditional music from Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia…Take the time to listen and read through the very-well annoted booklet (available on a pdf document on the first part of my downloads) as it’s not the kind of music you’ll hear anywhere else and like all traditional and rural music it takes times to really appreciate its unique beauty  but the more you’ll listen, the more you’ll be transported to another time and place…

Here’s a review from Michael Simmons (Amazon):The recent events in the former Yugoslavia give the music on volume five of the World Library of Folk and Primitive Music a special air of poignancy. Peter Kennedy, who was an associate of Alan Lomax, recorded all of the tracks at a folk festival in 1951, at a time when the Communist government believed it could forge a single national identity by showing the similarities between the various regional folk cultures. To that end, they gathered the best village musicians from all over what was then Yugoslavia and presented them in a series of concerts. Kennedy realized that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and recorded dozens of performers including ballad singers, tamburica players, choirs, and dance bands. All of the music here is of the highest quality, although some of the recordings from the stage are somewhat muted. This two-CD set includes a well-annotated 20-page booklet that features both the original notes from the 1954 LP version as well as corrections and additions that reflect recent scholarship. Although much of the music here will be primarily of interest to ethnomusicologists, there is still plenty here for the casual listener to enjoy. –Michael Simmons

And here’s a customer review: This CD is a historical recording of the *best* *authentic* *live* Yugoslavian music that can be heard anywhere! It was recorded at a folk festival where village musicians and dancers from many regions of Yugoslavia gathered: Montenegro, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, & other areas. They participated in this event disregarding their ethnic & political differences. The music and dancing brought unity and peace – there was no indication of the explosive changes the future would bring . It includes unique instruments and vocalizations along with descriptions of the song and background information about the music and region. The songs, dances and music are “from the people and by the people” no finer definition and representation of folk music anywhere. Although, I have heard that some of the “intellectual” descriptions in the liner notes are not accurate (this from ethnics who originated from the areas represented), never-the-less there is no doubt that it was live music and a live festival which was recorded “on the spot”. A great sample of beautiful authentic village sounds! Erika Borsos

-Download here disc 1

(with pdf pf the booklet)

-Download here disc 2