In 2008, the Loeb Music Library’s Archive of World Music received a collection of fieldwork from ethnomusicologist Lowell Lybarger, now titled the Lowell H. Lybarger Collection of Pakistani Music Materials.
Dr. Lowell Lybarger (courtesy LinkedIn)
Supported by a Fulbright program, Dr. Lybarger lived and conducted ethnomusicology research in Pakistan between the years of 1994-1996, while working on his Masters in Ethnomusicology from the University of Washington. During this time, he studied with the renowned tabla master Ustad Shaukat Hussain Khan.
After completing his Master’s degree, Dr. Lybarger returned to Pakistan numerous times between the years of 1999-2007 to continue his research. In 2003, Dr. Lybarger received his PhD in Musicology from the University of Toronto.
The Lowell H. Lybarger Collection of Pakistani Music Materials represents the extensive fieldwork conducted by him in Pakistan, India, the United States and Canada from 1994-2007. The bulk of the collection consists of field recordings of Pakistani music made on various analog and digital video formats (Hi-8mm, VHS, mini-DV, etc.). Many of the recordings and fieldwork in this collection were used as the basis for Dr. Lybarger’s 2003 PhD dissertation, The Tabla Solo Repertoire of Pakistani Panjab: An Ethnomusicological Perspective (abstract (PDF)).
Some of you know that the Music Library has a state-of-the-art audio preservation studio but you may not know much about it or even where it is. It’s located on the third floor at 8 Story Street; David Ackerman is the lead engineer. Recently he produced this 3-minute video about Audio Preservation Services (APS). Take a look, you’ll like it:
In addition to the conducting the day-to-day preservation work of the studio, APS staff contribute to international standards for audio collections and, as part of the joint Harvard and Indiana University Sound Directions project, developed the Sound Directions Toolkit, an open-source software suite to allow audio engineers to automate some of the routine, repetitive tasks of digitization
Explore the library’s archival collections to hear some of the recordings preserved by APS (some sound files are available only to the Harvard community):
Coincidentally, today is UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, a day to celebrate the cultural significance of recorded sound and video and to raise awareness of the urgent need for its preservation. Visit the Coordinating Council of Audio-Visual Archives Associations for a list of events planned by archives and heritage collections around the world.
– Virginia Danielson and Kerry Masteller