World Music Resources


World Music Africa Asia Central America Middle East Oceania South America Europe North America

General Information

Map Western Africa Southern Africa Eastern Africa Nothern Africa Central Africa Eastern Africa The USC Music Library has a large selection of items relating to the indigenous and popular music of Africa. While the majority of these items focus on a specific region, country, or people group, there are several monographs and sound recordings that present a broad overview of African music. Listed below are these general items. 

To learn more about the library’s African holdings and to listen to audio excerpts, please click on one of the five regions of Africa within the image to the right.


African Bibliographic Center. “The Beat Goes On: A Selected Guide to Resources on African Music and Dance, 1965-1967.” Current Reading List Series 6, no. 2. Washington, DC: African Bibliographic Center, Inc., 1968.
Ref ML 120 .A35 A4

African Bibliographic Center. “Phase Two of the Beat Goes On: A Supplementary Guide to Resources for African Music and Dance.” Current Reading List Series 7, no. 2. Washington, DC: African Bibliographic Center, Inc., 1969.
Ref ML 120 .A35 A4 Suppl.

African Music. Recorded by Laura C. Boulton on the Straus West African Expedition of Field Museum of Natural History. Folkways FW 8852. LP. 1957.
LP 3875

Agawu, Kofi. Representing African Music: Postcolonial Notes, Queries, Positions. New York, NY: Routledge, 2003.
ML 350 .A355 2003

Animals of Africa: Sounds of the Jungle, Plain and Bush. Nonesuch Explorer Series 79705-2, 1973 [released 2002].
Compact Disc 4905

Anthology of Music of Black Africa. Everest SDBR 3254/3. LP. 1969. 
LP 2764

Arom, Simha. African Polyphony and Polyrhythm: Musical Structure and Methodology. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1991. 
ML 350 .A7613 1991

Bachmann, Werner, ed. Musikgeschichte und Bildern. Vol. 1, pt. 8: Nordafrika, by Paul Collaer and Jürgen Elsner. Leipzig: VEB Deutscher Verlag für Musik, 1983.
ML 89 .M9 1974 Bd.1 Lfg.8

Bachmann, Werner, ed. Musikgeschichte und Bildern. Vol. 1, pt. 10: Ostafrika, by Gerhard Kubik. Leipzig: VEB Deutscher Verlag für Musik, 1982.
ML 89 .M9 1974 Bd.1 Lfg. 10

Bachmann, Werner, ed. Musikgeschichte und Bildern. Vol. 1, pt. 11: Westafrika, by Gerhard Kubik. Leipzig: VEB Deutscher Verlag für Musik, 1989.
ML 89 .M9 1974 Bd.1 Lfg.11

Bebey, Francis. African Music: A People's Art. Translated by Josephine Bennett. Brooklyn, NY: Lawrence Hill Books, 1975.
ML 350 .B4213 1975

Brincard, Marie-Thérèse. Sounding Forms: African Musical Instruments. New York, NY: The American Federation of Arts, 1989.
ML 462.N5 A47 1989

Chernoff, John Miller. African Rhythm and African Sensibility: Aesthetics and Social Action in African Musical Idioms. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1979.
ML 3760 .C48

Curtis, Natalie. Songs and Tales from the Dark Continent. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 2002.
M 1830 .B87 S6 2002

Dietz, Betty Warner. Musical Instruments of Africa: Their Nature, Use, and Place in the Life of a Deeply Musical People. New York, NY: The John Day Company, 1965. 
Education Resource Center ML544 .D54

Djembe: Percussions d'Afrique: Djembe, Kryin, Tolonyi, Wassakhoumba. 82976-2 Buda Musique. CD. 1999.
Compact Disc 4460

Ebron, Paulla A. Performing Africa. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002.
ML 3760 .E27 2002

Gaskin, L. J. P. A Select Bibliography of Music in Africa: Compiled at the International African Institute.London, England: International African Institute, 1965.
Ref ML 120 .A35 I6

Graham, Ronnie, ed. The World of African Music: Stern’s Guide to Contemporary African Music, vol. 2. Chicago, IL: Research Associates, 1992.
ML 3502.5 .G73 1992

Gray, John. African Music: A Bibliographical Guide to the Traditional, Popular, Art, and Liturgical Musics of Sub-Saharan Africa. New York, NY: Greenwood Press, 1991.
Ref ML 120 .A35 G7 1991

Jones, A. M. Africa and Indonesia: The Evidence of the Xylophone and Other Musical and Cultural Factors. Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1971.
ML 544 .J65 1971

Jones, A. M. “African rhythm.” Reprinted from Africa 24, no. 1 (January 1954). London, England: International African Institute, 1972.
PL 8000 .I62

Jones, A. M. Studies in African Music, vol. 1. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1961.
ML 3760 .J63 v. 1

Kofie, Nicholas N. Contemporary African Music in World Perspectives: Some Thoughts on Systematic Musicology and Aculturation. Ghana: Ghana Universities Press, 1994.
ML 350 .K63 1994

Kubik, Gerhard. Africa and the Blues. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1999.
ML 3521 .K83 1999

Landeck, Beatrice. Echoes of Africa in Folk Songs of the Americas, 2d. rev. ed. New York, NY: David McKay Company, Inc., 1969.
Music Education Resource Center M 1680 .L3 E3 1969

Lems-Dworkin, Carol. African Music: A Pan-African Annotated Bibliography. New York, NY: Hans Zell Publishers, 1991.
Ref ML 120 .A35 L4 1991

The Music of Africa. Horizon RDC-4393. LP. 1971.
LP 12702

Nketia, J. H. Kwabena. The Music of Africa. New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1974.
ML 350 .N595 M9

Olatunji, Babatunde. Drums of Passion: The Beat. Rykodisc RCD 10107. CD. 1989. 
Compact Disc 4168

Stone, Ruth M., and Frank J. Gillis. African Music and Oral Data: A Catalog of Field Recordings, 1902-1975. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1976.
Ref ML 156.4 .P7 S8

Wachsmann, Klaus P., ed. Essays on Music and History in Africa. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1971.
ML 350 .W24

Warren, Fred. The Music of Africa: An Introduction. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1970. 
ML 350 .W37

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