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Finding Aid for the Klaus Wachsmann Collection April 19, September 30, and August 2-3, 1949, 1950
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Klaus Wachsmann Collection,
    Date (inclusive): April 19, September 30, and August 2-3, 1949, 1950
    Collection number: 1949.01
    Creator: Wachsmann, Klaus 1907-1984
    Extent: 1 box with 21 sound reel tapes and 23 preservation master compact discs (pmcd)
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Ethnomusicology Archive
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
    Abstract: Klaus Wachsmann was a British ethnomusicologist of German birth and a pioneer in the study of African music. Between 1949 and 1952 Wachsmann compiled an extensive collection of field recordings while living in Uganda. This collection, one of two Klaus Wachsmann collections in the Ethnomusicology Archive, was compiled by Wachsmann on April 19, September 30, August 2-3, 1949, and throughout 1950. It consists of sound recordings and accompanying notes documenting the music of the Nyoro and Banyoro people of Uganda as well as Soga, Ganda, Teso, Gisu, Nyoro, Luo, and Luyia (Ugandan people); Nande (Zairian and Ugandan people); Hima, Alur, Lugbara, and Kakwa.
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    Archive materials may be accessed in the Archive. As many of our collections are stored off-site at SRLF, we recommend you contact the Archive in advance to check on the availability of the materials.

    Publication Rights

    These materials do not circulate and may not be duplicated or published without written permission from the copyright holders, collectors, and/or performers. Copyright has not been assigned to the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive. For more information contact the Archivist.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Klaus Wachsmann Collection, 1949.01, Ethnomusicology Archive, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Acquisition Information

    Deposited at the Ethnomusicology Archive, UCLA, by Klaus Wachsmann in the 1980s. The originals are housed at the National Sound Archive in London, while copies are housed at the Uganda Museum and the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive.

    Processing History

    Processed by Archive staff, 2000 / 2007
    Collection 1950.01 was merged with collection 1949.01 in September 2007.


    Klaus Wachsmann was a pioneer in the study of African music. Wachsmann lived in Uganda from 1937 to 1957. He first served in several offices in the Office of the Protestant Missions in Uganda. Later, he served as Curator of the Uganda Museum. In 1949, the British government gave him a grant, which ultimately enabled him to produce over 1500 recordings. From 1958-63, Wachsmann was Scientific Officer in charge of Ethnological Collections at the Wellcome Foundation in London. In 1963, Wachsmann moved to California and from 1963-68 was Professor of Music at UCLA and the Institute of Ethnomusicology. When he left UCLA he taught at Northwestern University. In 1976-77, he was Distinguished Visiting Professor of the College of the Humanities at the University of Texas, Dallas. In 1978-79, he taught as Richard Merton Gast Professor in the Institute of Ethnomusicology at the University of Cologne. In 1958, he received the bronze medal for "Devoted Service to Africa" from the Royal African Society. He was elected President of the Society for Ethnomusicology and of the International Folk Music Council. In 1984, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany bestowed upon Wachsmann the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Wachsmann died on July 17, 1984.

    Scope and Content

    Recordings made in 1949 by Klaus Wachsmann in Bunyoro Kingdom, Hoima district and the Mengo district of Uganda. Instruments include the akadinda (xylophone) and ennanga (harp).

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Field recordings--Africa, East.
    Field recordings--Uganda.