Posted by: Allina Migoni
Alice Cunningham Fletcher, anthropologist and ethnologist, is most known for her work with Native American groups and her early field recordings of Native American culture. However, this blog will focus another aspect of Fletcher’s fieldwork, a small group of rare and invaluable recordings of traditional Korean music, which she made on July 24, 1896. These cylinders contain the earliest known recordings of Korean music in the world, and predate the next documented recording of Korean song by 11 years. Specifically, they contain songs sung by Korean students whose names are often transliterated today as Ahn Jeong-sik, Lee Hee-Cheol and Son Rong. In this blog you can see a video lecture by Robert Provine about the cylinders, and hear four songs from the collection. These fascinating Korean recordings testify to the historical significance of AFC's cylinder collections to diverse communities all over the world.