Recording African music in the field


  • Hugh Tracey Honorary Secretary, African Music Society



Sound -- Recording and reproducing, Sound -- Recording and reproducing -- Equipment and supplies, Magnetic tapes, Magnetic recorders and recording, Microphone, Field recordings -- Africa


With the steady increase in the number of persons in Africa who own and operate small recording machines the technique of recording African music, as opposed to any other kind, is coming under discussion. It is rare that any African recordings are made under ideal conditions, and even the best equipped studio is not necessarily the right place for recording items which may sound best only in the background. There are so many facets to the art of recording in Africa that I would like to draw attention to a few of them which my own organisation has encountered in its field work, in order to encourage further discussion and ideas.

Author Biography

Hugh Tracey, Honorary Secretary, African Music Society

Hugh Tracey (1903–1977) was an important twentieth century ethnomusicologist, and a key figure in recording music from African countries.




How to Cite

Tracey, Hugh. 1955. “Recording African Music in the Field”. African Music : Journal of the International Library of African Music 1 (2):8-11.

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