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The International Library of African Music

Founded in 1954 by Hugh Tracey, the International Library of African Music (ILAM) is the greatest repository of African music in the world. A research institution devoted to the study of music and oral arts in Africa, it preserves thousands of historical recordings dating back to 1929 and supports contemporary fieldwork. Smithsonian Folkways presents over a thousand tracks of music from ILAM, many available digitally for the first time. Most tracks are accompanied by extensive notes and images. Listen here to a sampling of musical treasures from this incredible archive.