New issue of Smithsonian Folkways Magazine
The new issue of Smithsonian Folkways Magazine features expressions of "faith" in Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Throughout human history, faith has been a steady source of inspiration for creative cultural expressions around the world. By highlighting traditions of diverse faith-based communities, the new issue explores faith as a cultural muse, social process, and transcendent experience.
In the early part of his career, Folkways Records founder Moses Asch recorded substantial collections of Jewish cantorials. In "Remembering and Rebuilding: Folkways Cantorials 1947–1965," professor Judah Cohen places these recordings at the historical nexus of popular arts and postwar rebuilding to illuminate the rich tradition of cantorial expression. In "Sound and Community in the Muslim Call to Prayer," professor Joseph Progler details how adh?n, the Muslim call to prayer, can simultaneously reflect social, cultural, political, and religious dynamics in diverse Muslim communities. In the latest "From the Field" feature, produced in partnership with the Society for Ethnomusicology, ethnomusicologist Clifford Murphy describes his experience documenting and presenting Singing and Praying Bands of Maryland and Delaware, the oldest living sacred musical tradition of those states. Lastly, a holiday-themed lesson plan, based on the Christmas best-seller The Sounding Joy, introduces students to Christmas songs from the Ruth Crawford Seeger songbook. Enjoy!