Hugh Tracey

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Hugh Tracey (1903–1977) was an important twentieth century ethnomusicologist. He and his wife collected and archived music from Southern and Central Africa. He began making field recordings of music in the early 20's, through the 70's. He founded The International Library of African Music (ILAM) in Grahamstown in 1954, and become its director. ILAM publishes the African Music Society Journal. Hugh's son Andrew Tracey (see also IMDB) also became a well known ethnomusicologist specializing in African music and another son, Paul Tracey, became a musician and ethnomusicologist.

He also wrote a play, called Chief Above, Chief Below (performed in 1952).

For more information, see the entry on Wikipedia at

(1903-1977) Renowned music-ethnographer and authority on indigenous South African music. Also a playwright. Founder of the International Library of African Music, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. Over a 40-year period he accumulated a vast and now priceless collection of traditional songs and instrumental renderings, sourced from the Congo to the Nguni regions of South Africa. In this way he did much, with this son Andrew, to re-discover, preserve and promote an interest in African music and musical instruments. Adapted and/or wrote (*?) Chief Above, Chief Below (based on the 1941 radio play by King Edward Masinga), in 1952. Performed and toured by the Bantu Theatre Company of Teda de Moor and George Makanya. [??**]


See Inskip, 1972, Tucker, 1997

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