"A new approach to the collection of traditional Aboriginal music"
The days of anthropologists taking recordings away to Canberra where they might as well be lost to the community forever, are now gone according to ABC Radio (Australia) in a story about the National Recording Project. Its aim is to document the traditions of Indigenous Australia.
What's different here is that performers, and language experts from the communities are recognised as co-researchers, alongside the university based musicologists, linguists and anthropologists. Instead of the music being recorded onto tapes and taken away to vast archives in the southern cities, it's recorded digitally and is stored on solar powered local computers in remote communities.
In their paper The National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia: year one in review, the authors Allan Marett, Mandawuy Yunupingu, Marcia Langton, Neparrnga Gumbula, Linda Barwick and Aaron Corn write in the abstract:
Many Indigenous performers now keep recordings of their forebears’ past performances and listen to them for inspiration before performing themselves. In recent years, community digital archives have been set up in various Australian Indigenous communities. Not only can recordings reinforce memory and facilitate the recovery of lost repertoire, they can also provide inspiration for creative extensions of tradition.
>> read the whole paper (pdf, 596kb)
There are several related papers in the Sydney eScholarship Repository