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UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music

Originally published between 1961 and 2003, the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music comprises more than 125 albums from around the world. Out of print since 2005, the entire collection, including many previously unreleased recordings, will be published by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in both digital and physical formats. Two albums will be published per week starting April 29, 2014.

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched the series in collaboration with ethnomusicologist Alain Daniélou (1907–1994) and the International Music Council (IMC). Collaboration continued more recently with the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM). The UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music stands as one of the earliest achievements of UNESCO’s program for safeguarding and revitalizing intangible cultural heritage.

With recordings from more than 70 nations, the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music offers a staggering diversity of our shared humanity. Much of the collection was gathered in situ and is presented as field recordings. Extensive annotations and photographs accompany each release. The republishing of this collection marks renewed commitment to making this unique collection of diverse musical expressions accessible to the public. Starting April 29, 2014, two albums per week will be released until more than 120 albums are available via digital download, streaming services, on-demand physical CDs, and library audio subscription.

Now Available:

Previously Unreleased Albums:

Two Albums Released Per Week Starting April 29, 2014

The release of the UNESCO collection began on April 29, 2014, with two albums released every week for approximately one year. Stay updated about the collection and learn more about how to become a UNESCO collection guest blogger by signing up to our mailing list below.

Titles in the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music:


  • UNES08054 Aka Pygmy Music
  • UNES08037 Algeria: Sahara - Music of Gourara
  • UNES08057 Benin: Bariba and Somba Music
  • UNES08029 Cameroon: Baka Pygmy Music
  • UNES08020 Central African Republic
  • UNES08043 Central African Republic: Banda Polyphony
  • UNES08203 Côte d’Ivoire: A Senufo-Fodonon - Funerary Vigil
  • **UNES08048 Côte d’Ivoire: Baule Vocal Music
  • UNES08038 Egypt: Taqâsîm & Layâlî - Cairo Tradition
  • UNES08074 Ethiopia: Three Cordophone Traditions
  • UNES08275 Madagascar: Land of The Betsimisaraka
  • UNES08282 Madagascar: Spirit Music from the Tamatave Region
  • UNES08265 Music Tradition of Malawi
  • UNES08002 Morocco: Arabic Traditional Music
  • UNES08006 Niger/Northern Benin: Music of the Fulani
  • UNES08072 Sudan: Music of the Blue Nile Province - The Gumuz Tribe
  • UNES08073 Sudan: Music of the Blue Nile Province - The Ingessana and Berta Tribes


  • UNES08284 Afghanistan: Female Musicians of Herat
  • *UNES08320 Afghanistan: Music During the Civil War (1979-2001)
  • UNES08266 Afghanistan: The Traditional Music of Herât
  • UNES08045 Azerbaijan: Azerbaijani Mugam
  • UNES08046 Bahrain: Fidjeri: Songs of the Pearl Divers
  • UNES08077 Bengal: Bengali Traditional Folk Music
  • UNES08068 Cambodia: Folk and Ceremonial Music
  • UNES08011 Cambodia: Royal Music
  • **UNES08071 China
  • **UNES08209 China: Chuida Wind and Percussive Instrumental Ensembles
  • UNES08031 Hong Kong: Instrumental Music
  • UNES08033 India: North Indian Folk Music
  • **UNES08267 India: Vicitra Vina - The Music of Pandit Lalmani Misra
  • **UNES08270 Anthology of Indian Classical Music: A Tribute to Alain Daniélou
  • **UNES08283 North India: Dhrupad Singing by Ustad F. Wasifuddin Dagar
  • UNES08021 North India: Instrumental Music - Rudra Veena, Vichitra Veena, Sarod, Shahnai
  • UNES08017 North India: Instrumental Music - Sitar, Flute, Sarangi
  • UNES08205 North India: Instrumental Music of Mediaeval India
  • **UNES08076 North India: Vocal music - Dhrupad and Khyal
  • *UNES08311 South India: Ranganayaki Rajagopalan—Continuity in the Karaikudi Vina Style
  • UNES08078 Indonesia: Java - Music of the Theatre
  • **UNES08041 Indonesia: Music from West Java
  • UNES08272 Bali: Balinese Music of Lombok
  • UNES08059 Bali: Court Music and Banjar Music
  • UNES08003 Bali: Folk Music
  • UNES08051 Java: Sundanese Folk Music
  • UNES08014 Java: Vocal Art
  • UNES08044 Iraq: Iqa’at - Traditional Rhythmic Structure
  • UNES08047 Japan: Ainu Songs
  • *UNES08319 Japan: Koishimaru Izutsuya: Master of the Kawachi Ondo Epics
  • UNES08030 Japan: O-Suwa-Daiko Drums
  • UNES08016 Japan: Semiclasssical and Folk Music
  • **UNES08036 Japan: Shomyo Buddhist Ritual - Dai Hannya Ceremony
  • UNES08010 Korea
  • UNES08023 Kurdish Music
  • UNES08042 Laos: Traditional Music of the South
  • UNES08025 Middle East: Sung Poetry
  • **UNES08207 Mongolia: Traditional Music
  • UNES08281 Myanmar: Music by the Hsaing Waing Orchestra: The Burmese Harp
  • UNES08279 Nepal: Ritual and Entertainment
  • *UNES08305 Oman: Arabian Weddings
  • UNES08211 Oman: Traditional Arts of the Sultanate of Oman
  • UNES08028 Pakistan: The Music of the Qawal
  • UNES08301 Russian Orthodox Chants
  • UNES08013 Syria: Islamic Ritual Zikr in Aleppo
  • UNES08039 Syrian Orthodox Church: Antioch Liturgy
  • UNES08075 Syrian Orthodox Church: Tradition of Tur Abdin in Mesopotamia
  • UNES08212 Tajik Music of Badakhshan
  • UNES08007 Thailand: The Music of Chieng Mai
  • **UNES08034 Tibetan Ritual
  • UNES08069 Turkey: Bektashi Music - Ashik Songs
  • UNES08213 Turkmen Epic Singing: Köroglu
  • *UNES08306 Uzbekistan: Echoes of Vanished Courts
  • UNES08269 Uzbekistan: Music of Khorezm
  • *UNES08308 Uzbekistan: Musical Traditions of the Karakalpaks
  • UNES08035 Viet Nam: Ca Tru & Quan Ho - Traditional Music
  • UNES08058 Viet Nam: Court Theatre Music: Hat-Bôi
  • UNES08049 Viet Nam: Tradition of the South
  • UNES08070 Viet Nam: Traditions of the South
  • UNES08022 Viet Nam: Hát Chèo - Traditional Folk Theatre
  • UNES08273 Yemen: Songs from Hadramawt
  • UNES08004 Yemen: Traditional Music of the North
  • UNES08024 The Yemenite Jews
  • UNES08302 Yoshihisha Taira: Tribute to Noguchi

Australia and Oceania


North America

South America

  • UNES08208 Argentina: Tritonic Musics of the North-West
  • UNES08009 Bolivia: Panpipes
  • **UNES08201 Brazil: Bororo World of Sound
  • UNES08001 Chile: Hispano-Chilean Metisse Traditional Music
  • *UNES08307 Peru: Andean Music of Life, Work, and Celebration
  • UNES08268 Peru: Music of the Indigenous Communities of Cuzco
  • UNES08278 Trinidad & Tobago: Trinidad - Music from the North Indian Tradition
  • *UNES08318 Venezuela: Afro-Venezuelan Music, volumes I and II

Compilation Albums

*Previously Unreleased
**Currently Available at