The Global Jukebox


The Global Jukebox




The heart of this project is rooted in a lifetime of song research by Alan Lomax (1915-2002). Over his long life he recorded music and interviews with folk musicians throughout the Western Hemisphere. He spent the 1950s based in London, where he assembled a multi-volume collection of "folk and primitive" music for Columbia Records. (His relocation enabled Lomax to escape the brunt of McCarthyite discrimination against prominent figures from the music world–including Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein. He was at various points under surveillance by Britain's MI5 and, in the US, by the CIA and the FBI. No charges were ever brought.) features and their incidence in a series of pieces representing Hunedoara culture,">Roumania in The Global Jukebox. In 2012 the Library of Congress agreed to make his 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000 videotapes, and 5,000 photographs available for The Global Jukebox. Lomax has devoted the last two decades of his life to this project. In its current state the website has significant debts to long-time associates including Lomax's daughter Anna Lomax Wood and a team of specialists who provided technical support. Using geospatial data The Global Jukebox will enable you to explore these recordings by place and by many other parameters. It is the first open-access evidence of this decades-long collection development. Under the auspices of the Association for Cultural Equity, which Lomaz founded, current researchers welcome contributions of metadata, especially song titles. An earlier collection of his work (1937) is housed at the University of Kentucky. It was Lomax's intention to implement his work in cantometrics (1959) and choreometrics in a computer system (initiated by the musicologist Victor Grauer). Considering that 37 criteria were used for the initial version of the system, the system was highly ambitious. The richness of the detail is captured in the image above, which displays metadata, content description, rate of occurrence, and musical texture in a series of Roumanian songs. Choreometrics was pursued in collaboration with Irmgard Bartenieff and Forrestine Paulay, who were also involved in the development of Laban Notation. The implementation of choreometrics at this website accommodates 119 variables.

creator or project

The Global Jukebox







task or research field

data visualization

music listening

technical features

Provides interfaces for browsing contents

Provides user-friendly interfaces

Shares data in open data formats

Offers playable music records

type of collected resources



scope of the collection


category of data collected


data license

Open Access