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E. Bradley Strauchen-Scherer

[Jane Rogovin]

(b New York, NY, 17 March 1922; d London, England, 12 Sept 1990). American ethnomusicologist and curator. Although born and reared in the Bronx, Jenkins portrayed herself as having been brought up in rural Arkansas surrounded by Ozark folk music. As a teenager, she learnt an extensive repertoire of folksongs and became active in American folk music circles. Like many folksingers of the era, Jenkins espoused socialism. She studied anthropology and musicology in Missouri but her support of trade unions and civil rights attracted the scrutiny of the FBI.

Her move to London in 1950 placed Jenkins beyond the reach of McCarthyism. There she continued her studies and secured leave to remain in the UK by marrying Clive Jenkins, a prominent trade union leader. In 1960 she became the first Keeper of Musical Instruments of the Horniman Museum and commenced fieldwork. She traveled in the USSR, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and southern Europe to record and to build up a comparative collection of instruments for the Horniman. Jenkins organized exhibitions and published as curatorial duties permitted, but recording was her enduring legacy to ethnomusicology. She considered her banjo to be her most important piece of fieldwork equipment and she played to other musicians to encourage them to participate in recordings. Keen to capture music she perceived to be vanishing, she recorded more than 700 field tapes. Her frequent BBC broadcasts and commercially issued recordings introduced music from Asia and Africa to UK audiences and paved the way for the explosion of interest in ‘world music’. Jenkins’s original recordings and an archive of fieldwork photographs are held by the National Museums of Scotland....

Article

Nalini Ghuman

[Maud Mann, Maud Foulds, Tandra Devi, Swami Omananda Puri, Maud Coote]

(b Cluain Meala (Eng. Clonmel), Tipperary, 4 July 1882; d Douglas, Isle of Man, 6 June 1967). Irish violinist, ethnomusicologist, authority on Indian music, writer, music therapist, and polymath. In 1884 the MacCarthys emigrated to Australia: in 1892 mother and daughter returned to Britain where Maud made her solo violin debut, playing to critical acclaim in Britain, Ireland, and the United States. Over-playing caused painful neuritis and led to a change in direction: she became deeply interested in Indian music. In 1907 she sailed alone to India, beginning her sojourn in Adyar, Chennai where she studied Karnatic classical singing. During journeys of 8,500 km north from Thanjāvūr to Vārānasī and Lahore she learned a variety of music and became proficient in Hindi and Urdu. Meticulous field notes document her pioneering ethnomusicological work.

Late in 1909 MacCarthy returned to London where, for two decades, driven by a commitment to bridging the colonial divide, she presented erudite lecture-recitals of Indian music across Britain and in Paris, singing in several languages and accompanying herself on ...

Article

Dave Laing

Member of Seeger family

(b New York, May 3, 1919; d New York, Jan 27, 2014). American folksinger, banjo player and songwriter, son of Charles (Louis) Seeger. As a teenager he assisted the folksong collector J.A. Lomax, then joined the Alamanac Singers, so meeting Woody Guthrie, Lee Hays and others. During the early 1950s he recorded such hit records as Kisses Sweeter than Wine, Wimoweh and So long, it’s been good to know you with the vocal quartet the Weavers. Following his appearance before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, he was blacklisted by concert halls and broadcasters. In the 1960s Seeger further established his pivotal role in the American folk revival, promoting its ideals and, through concerts and recordings, encouraging others to sing and play. He founded the Newport Folk Festival, published tutors for the banjo and 12-string guitar and contributed regularly to the magazine Sing Out!...