Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Alan Lomax's Moroccan Tape Stash


Well, his Moroccan stash is but a tiny tiny pinch of shake from his huge stash of field recordings. His recordings of American folk music are, of course, the most famous, but he also did his share of international recordings during his many years of research.

Association for Cultural Equity and the Alan Lomax Archive recently went live with over 800 hours of sound recordings as well as video and photographs from Lomax's collection. Perhaps the mother of all tape stashes!

I had no idea Lomax had recorded in Morocco! I'm just starting to dip into this collection, and I'll try to link to anything that particularly catches my ear.

First question I had, of course... is there any Gnawa music? Indeed, there is one short piece recorded in the Djemaa el Fna in Marrakech - it's an excerpt from "Negsha".

Explore the Moroccan collection here.
Explore the entire audio collection here.
Or start at the main menu to get to photographs, video, and other resources.


I found 2 more short Gnawa tracks, in Lomax's recordings from Fez. They are from outdoor processional âada repertoire, thus feature the tbola rather than the guinbri. The recordings were made at the moussem of Moulay Idriss, and include recordings of Aissawa and Hamadcha as well!


  1. thanks a lot for the hint to this exceptional collection!! just dived a bit into it, my ears got bigger and bigger while listening to the sounds from the dades valley. the 192 sound files are downloadable, too.


  2. Thanks for sharing the link, this is amazing!

  3. Thank you thank you!!!

  4. Thanks for the hint to Lomax' Moroccan recordings. Research Center is awesome. Big thank-you for L'Hajja L'Hamdaouya, too!