- Product Listing A-Z
- Art and Architecture
- Black History and Literature
- Counseling and Therapy
- Criminal Justice
- Health Sciences
- LGBT studies
- Performing Arts, Theatre & Film
- Political Science
- Religion and Social Thought
- Women's History and Literature
- Video Collections
- Support Center
- Customer & Technical Support
- Request a Product Trial
- Free Resources
- Contact Your Account Rep
- By Library Region
- Global Distributors
- License Info
- FAQs and Troubleshooting
- Discovery and MARC records
- New Alexander Street Press Interface FAQ
- Music Online Feature Overview 2013
- VAST: Academic Video Online Feature Overview 2013
- Press Room
- Free Resources
- Contact Us
Smithsonian Global Sound® for Libraries
A virtual encyclopedia of the world’s musical and aural traditions
“If Magellan had access to [this collection], he might have stayed home . . . a unique and impressive collection of music, not to mention a rich archive of everyday sound” – [A+ rating] Library Journal
“Sound quality is as good as the originals. . . Highly recommended. Libraries supporting area studies and ethnomusicology; all levels” - CHOICE
Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries is the largest and most comprehensive streaming audio collection of world music. It currently provides streaming access to over 42,000 tracks from the Smithsonian archives and world music archives in Asia and Africa, and is growing regularly as new recordings are added. This collection has been produced in partnership with the Smithsonian and is exclusively available through Alexander Street Press.
The most comprehensive audio collection available
Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries provides coverage in breadth and depth for world music, and is essential for music history, music appreciation, world music courses and ethnomusicology:
- Music from 169 countries from around the world
- Over 1,000 distinct genres and sub-genres available
- Over 1,400 cultural groups represented
- Over 450 languages represented
- Data on 100,000s of artists and ensembles
Curated collections of the highest quality
Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries currently comprises the following curated collections:
It also incorporates a number of unique thematic collections, including:
- World music archives offering a cultural soundtrack that illuminates the history and literature of nations and peoples from every continent.
- Topics in American history come alive with music such as with ballads from the American Revolution, War of 1812, or the American Civil War; freedom and protest songs from the Civil Rights era; songs from the Slave Coast; Canada's history in song, and much more.
- Firsthand approaches to literature include biography, memoir, drama, and poetry. Works by Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Dubois, Mahalia Jackson, Sterling Brown, and others are shared by the authors themselves, while additional works such as the ancient Greek tragedies and those by Ralph Waldo Emerson are performed by others.
- An extensively developed children's collection helps bring the world to kids from kindergarten through middle school, including a plethora of counting games, childhood songs, holiday tunes, stories, and sing-alongs from around the world.
Unique access points drive Discovery
Users can search for over 2,600 distinct instrument categories using a graphical interface based on a 3-level variant of the Sachs–Hornbostel system of musical instrument classification.
Powerful Teaching Resources
Our collections include a playlist functionality to enable educators to create, annotate and share thematic playlists of recordings to support their teaching needs.
|Access thematic playlists specially curated by the Smithsonian|
In addition, customers can access the following teaching resources that have been developed by the Smithsonian to complement this collection:
- Lesson plans: Find world music curricular experiences from Smithsonian Folkways' Network of Music Educators from music educations around the world.
- Workshops for Teachers: Get hands-on experience with the Smithsonian Folkways Certification Course in World Music Pedagogy.
- Community: Access a network of music educators around the world offering more support on using music in the classroom.
- Educational Access Points: Further explore the catalog through the Smithsonian’s Soundscapes series, features, podcasts, radio streams, video and online magazine.
Key Features of Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries
- Advanced Search: additional options include genre, instrument, place and cultural group
- CD Quality: audio streaming up to CD quality (320kbps) at no extra cost
- Mobile Access: stream to your mobile device / smartphone
- Liner Notes: full set of liner notes for this unique collection
- Custom Audio Clips: New feature from Summer 2012! Users can create, and share clips from all audio tracks.
- Embeddable Audio: New feature from Summer 2012! All audio can be embedded into 3rd party websites.
- Custom Playlists: create, annotate and share playlists. Access a library of playlists created by other users, including themed playlists created by our editor.
- Permanent URLs: all albums, tracks, clips and playlists can be cited on permanent URLs.
- Cross-search: audio can be cross-searched alongside our related video, scores and reference material to provide a powerful tool for music research.