World Music Sites

African Music Encyclopedia

This website has information on a variety of African music. Links on the site include a search option, artist, country, store, credits, glossary, sources and links. The artist page has hyperlinks to more in depth biographies. The country page has information about different countries including demographics. The store links you to certain books on Africa. The glossary defines many words found on the site. Sources connects you to other websites and organizations about African music and the links tab to even more websites, email lists, periodicals, labels/recording, newsgroups, festivals and stores.

Afropop Worldwide
Great site that has information as well as interactions. You can listen to Afropop, you buy Afropop and you can can talk about Afropop on the community tab. Afropop Worldwide originally was a show on NPR. Now it is much larger than that, bringing African music and music of the African Diaspora to the public. is an interesting site that is full of information. Whether you need basic definitions of this Indian tradition or are looking for more in depth resources the site has both. The page is set up like a blog. There are many videos posted and outlets for communication on the site.

To quote the site MSI “is a not-for-profit collaborative effort, to compile and provide historical information of songs composed for malayalam movies.” You can learn about these songs in reference to movies or albums. There are also recordings on the site.

American Gamelan Institute
This site is dedicated to all of the Indonesian performing arts. The site has a variety of resources. There is a scholarly journal, a podcast, a catalogue, a store, directory, library, and resources. I feel like the library (which contains online resources) and the resources tab could very useful for our purposes.

Northern Illinois University SEAsite, Arts and Culture
This site is from Northern Illinois University. It is very interesting because it includes a lot of culture surrounding Indonesian music other than just the music itself. Included in this is Balinese dance, shadow theater, and folk lore. These are in addition to the music resources as well.

American Folklife Center
The American Folklife Center is dedicated to preserving all sorts of folklife. From Native American music to Appalachian fiddle tunes to post WWII gamelan music, the center has 4,000 collections. The website contains news, program calendars, online presentations as well as additional resources to help direct your searches. This is a part of the library congress and some of the resources in the archives include early field recordings.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
This website includes recorded music and spoken word, about 40,000 in total with an emphasis on American music. Music can be streamed (including a radio) or bought from the website. The site also includes an online magazine, and teaching tools.

University of California, Santa Barbara, Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project
An online collection of digitized versions of over 8,000 recordings from cylinders. The recordings are both of music and spoken word from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The collection is mostly American, but there is a section titled “ethnic and foreign cylinders.” The website also contains a streaming radio.

World Music Network
An online collection filled with mp3’s for streaming and downloading. The site also includes a multimedia section with videos, and a forum for musicians of world music and those who have an interest in the subject.

National Geographic World Music
The website is a great resource to learn about contemporary world music recording artists and also includes information on traditions in world music. Includes music videos, a streaming radio, and interviews with the artists. The streaming radio is the only way to listen to music on the site, and there is a list of related links for every genre and artist.

Putomayo World Music
The website is the online resource and store for the Putomayo record label. Few songs can be downloaded, but only through promotional offerings on the website. The site has a list and information on all of their artists, an international event list, radio show, and a children’s website. The children’s website includes teaching tools and videos. World Music
This is a site with many different links to pages and resources on world music, all compiled by The site includes blogs and links to various topics: artists, reviews, “world music 101,” various regions around the world, radio stations and programs, record labels, festivals, publications, and a section for musicians.

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music
This site is the online version of the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Information includes the encyclopedia itself, streaming audio, artists/ensembles, genres, instruments, people/cultural groups, and regions around the world. Subscription is required.

Vanderbilt University, Global Music Archive
The website is the online site for Vanderbilt’s University’s collection of traditional and popular music cultures of Africa and the Americas. There is a digital collection of East African recordings, and an East African music bibliography.

Descarga Musica
The online website and store for Descarga Musica a retailer and educator in Latin Music, specifically the Afro-Cuban style and Caribbean Latin music. Includes a search of all the artists and recordings for sale, an online journal with archives, a free weekly newsletter, a glossary, and related links.

World Music
An online portal for news in everything that is world music. The site includes reviews, articles, different resources (artist, instruments, and genres database), an events calendar, and a wiki.

Society for Ethnomusicology> Resources > Link Categories
The online “related links” section for the Society for Ethnomusicology. The links are plenty and organized by category. The featured links cover broad regions and topics down to specific topics in world music. It is a great resource of links that are recommended by SEM.

Government Sources for International Information

Department of State Background Notes

CIA World Factbook

Library of Congress Country Studies