Earlier this year, 75 year old South Carolina resident Mary Moran had the unique opportunity to go to Sierra Leone with other members of her family. Moran's mother had taught her a song in an African language which had been in the family since an ancestor had been brought over from Africa two hundred years ago. In 1989, through the efforts of anthropologist Joseph Opala and ethnomusicologist Cynthia Schmidt, it had been discovered that this song, composed in the Mende language, was still sung by certain villagers in Sierra Leone.
Levin is a teacher in the Music Department of Dartmouth College and a longtime follower of the music of the Celtic lands, the Balkans, South Siberia, and other cultures. His new book "The Hundred Thousand Fools of God: Musical Travels in Central Asia" traces how the music of a culture lives through and reflects the lives of its people. He looks at how the Russian conquest of Central Asia at the end of the 19th century affected the music of the area.
Terry talks with ethnomusicologist Steven Feld. His new record, "Voices of the Rainforest," captures the songs of the Kaluli people of Paupa New Guinea. Feld also works for preservation of the world's rain forests, since if the forests are eliminated, so will much indigenous music.
Steven Feld is a ethnomusicologist who teaches sound communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Ethnomusicology combines anthropology and music theory, and attempts to learn about culture through music. Feld is also a jazz musician who has incorporated the genre into his work. His work has taken him to Papua New Guinea, where he studied the Kaluli tribe, and the Southwestern United States. He joins the show to discuss his work. (INTERVIEW BY DANNY MILLER.)