Smithsonian Global Sound

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Smithsonian Global Sound provides over 2900 online audio recordings (over 42,000 tracks) of American folk, blues, bluegrass, jazz, spoken word, and world music. It includes the published recordings owned by the non-profit Smithsonian Folkways Recordings label and the archival audio collections of the legendary Folkways Records, Cook, Dyer-Bennet, Fast Folk, Monitor, Paredon and other labels. It also includes music recorded around the African continent by Dr. Hugh Tracey for the International Library of African Music (ILAM) at Rhodes University as well as material collected by recordists on the South Asian subcontinent from the Archive Research Centre for Ethnomusicology (ARCE), sponsored by the American Institute for Indian Studies.

Smithsonian Global Sound can also be accessed through the Music Online interface.


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A FAQ page also is provided.

User tools and features

User may create a personal account and sign in to create and edit playlists.

Dates covered

Middle Ages to 21st century.

Updating frequency



Audio recordings.


Type of coverage

Streaming audio.

Print counterpart or
related resources


Producer/content provider

Alexander Street Press

Vendor/electronic presentation provider

Alexander Street Press

Core Subject(s)