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The Jean Jenkins Archive

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 27 November 2011

Lucy Duran heads to the National Museum of Scotland to explore the archive of pioneering ethnomusicologist Jean Jenkins. Curated by the Keeper of World Cultures Henrietta Lidchi, the NMS has recently opened its Jean Jenkins collection to the public, incorporating her musical instrument collection, diaries, hundreds of field recordings and radio archive. Producer Peter Meanwell.

Jenkins travelled widely throughout Africa and Central Asia between the 1950s and 1980s creating exceptional recordings, and taking detailed notes. She was a key figure in laying the ground for the contemporary world music scene, and as well as a fascinating insight into traditional music from around the world, her archives reveal a larger than life woman, who fled McCarthy, was friends with Haile Selassie and who was meticulous, packing silk handkerchiefs and girdles whenever she travelled.

  • Jean Jenkins in Ethiopia

    Jean Jenkins in Ethiopia

    Copyright National Museums Scotland

  • Jean Jenkins in Rajasthan 1980s

    Jean Jenkins in Rajasthan 1980s

    Copyright National Museums Scotland

  • The Jean Jenkins Archive

    All music and speech extracts courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

    National Museum of Scotland
  • Playlist:

    Excerpt from BBC African Service interview c1962
    Courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

    Afghanistan, 1974
    Khan Mohammed (daira and voice) and Aqi Pishak (dambura and voice)
    Recorded by Jean Jenkins
    Courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

    Excerpt from BBC Crossthreads interview with Madeau Stewart
    Courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

    Gobi Altai, Mongolia. 1974
    Monghur (yagta)
    Recorded by Jean Jenkins
    Courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

    Iringa, Tanzania 1961
    Woman singing with choral response and hand clapping. Wahehe people.
    Recorded by Jean Jenkins
    Courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

    Asmara, Eritrea. 1965.
    Kafil Asmaran, (voice and masenqo)
    Recorded by Jean Jenkins
    Courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

    Excerpt from The Music of West Africa radio tape
    Courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

    South West Tanzania. c1961.
    Independence celebrations.
    Recorded by Jean Jenkins
    Courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

    Excerpt from The Music of West Africa radio tape
    Courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

    Jean Bosco extract (guitar and voice)
    Recorded from the radio by Jean Jenkins
    Courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

    Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. 1972
    Ketamang on Gamelan
    Recorded by Jean Jenkins
    Courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

    Inside the walled City of Harar, Ethiopia. 1965
    Recorded by Jean Jenkins
    Courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

    near Balkh, Afghanistan. 1974
    Song of welcome
    Recorded by Jean Jenkins
    Courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

    Asbe Tefiri, Ethiopia. 1965
    Breathing song
    Recorded by Jean Jenkins
    Courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

    Excerpt from BBC African Service interview c1962
    Courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

    Asbe Tefiri, Ethiopia. 1965
    Breathing song
    Recorded by Jean Jenkins
    Courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland, Jean Jenkins Archive

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