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Spottswood's six volume discography is a first reference source. It's very detailed and includes personnel, instrumentation, recording dates, etc. and has multiple indexes. It covers ethnic recordings made in the U.S. only.

Another book dealing with recorded ethnic music in the US that might be of interest: 

Ethnic Recordings in America : a Neglected Heritage.
American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 1982.

Contents: Ethnic Recordings : an Introduction / Pekka Gronow -- Commercial Ethnic Recordings in the United States / Richard K. Spottswood -- Early Field Recordings of Ethnic Music / Joseph C. Hickerson -- Irish Ethnic Recordings and the Irish-American Imagination / Mick Moloney -- Lydia Mendoza, an Enduring Mexican-American Singer / James S. Griffith -- La Alondra de la Frontera / Lydia Mendoza -- The Lark of the Border / Lydia Mendoza -- The Sajewski Story : Eighty Years of Polish music in Chicago / Richard K. Spottswood -- Recorded Ethnic Music : a Guide to Resources / Norm Cohen and Paul Wells.

Jim Nelson
St. Louis, MO

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Thomas Stern
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2014 7:09 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Ethnic Music on record - reference works

I note the publications listed below, relating to world music.

Is anyone familiar with these and able to provide a brief overview of their scope, content, strengths and weaknesses???

The first two focus on recordings, the Continuum series says it includes discographic information, but appears to focus

on music.

Are there other significant works to be aware of ?   For example, Alan P.
Merriam: African Music on LP, is a significant

work, but limited to African Music, and recordings of the LP era, some of which actually are reissues of 78rpm discs so

widens the time span slightly.  If there are similar works for other regions, I would like to know about them.

Thanks!

Best wishes, Thomas.

 

PAUL VERNON: Ethnic and Vernacular Music, 1898-1960: A Resource and Guide to Recordings

Greenwood Press, 1995.  368pages.

 

RICHARD K SPOTTSWOOD: Ethnic Music on Records: A Discography of Ethnic Recordings Produced in the United States, 1893-1942

Vol.1: Western Europe

Vol.2: Slavic

Vol.3: Eastern Europe

Vol.4: Spanish, Portuguese, Philippines, Basque

Vol.5: Middle East, Far East, Scandinavian,

Vol.6 : Artist Index, Title Index

Vol.7: Record Number Index, Matrix Number Index

University of Illinois Press, 1990

 

CONTINUUM Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World

John Shepherd, David Horn, et.al. 

1   Media, Industry, Society

2   Performance and Production

3  Caribbean and Latin America

4  North America

5  Asia and Oceania

6  Africa and the Middle East

7  Europe

8  Genres-North America

9  Genres-Caribbean and Latin America

BLOOMSBURY ACADEMIC, 2003-2014