Tony Seeger

Anthony Seeger is an anthropologist, ethnomusicologist, archivist, record producer, and musician. He received his B.A. from Harvard University (1967) and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago (1974).  His anthropological research has concentrated on the music of Amazonian Indians, and he has been active in supporting their efforts to defend their rights to land in the fast-developing interior of Brazil.  His musical knowledge extends to vernacular music forms in the United States.  He lived in Brazil for nearly 10 years between 1970 and 1982, for much of that time a member of the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum, in Rio de Janeiro.  He also participated in establishing a M.A. in Musicology and Ethnomusicology at the Brazilian Conservatory of Music. He served as Chairman of the Department of Anthropology of the National Museum as well as Coordinator of its Graduate Program in Social Anthropology.  In 1982 he returned to the U.S. as Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music. He was promoted to Full Professor in 1987.  In 1988 he moved to the Smithsonian Institution to assume the direction of Folkways Records and to become the first curator of its archival collection.  He established the Smithsonian Folkways record label, and produced many recordings.  He became Professor in the Department of Ethnomusicology at the University of California at Los Angeles in 2000 and served as Faculty Director of the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive 2007-2012.

Dr. Seeger has held executive positions in a number of professional organizations, including the Society for Ethnomusicology (President 1989- 1991) and the International Council for Traditional Music (President 1997-1999; Secretary General 2001-2005). He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993. He has served on the advisory boards of audiovisual archives in India and the Sudan, and has consulted on archival issues in Peru, Brazil, Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Africa and the United States.  He is the Chair of the Research Archives Section of the International Association of Sound and Audio Visual Archives (IASA).

Dr. Seeger is the author or editor of six books and over 60 articles on anthropological, ethnomusicological, archival, intellectual property, and Indigenous rights issues.  Among the books are Nature and Society in Central Brazil: The Suya Indians of Mato Grosso (Harvard University Press 1981); Early Field Recordings: A Catalogue of the Wax Cylinder Recordings at the Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music (Indiana University Press 1987); Why Suyá Sing: A Musical Anthropology of an Amazonian People  (Cambridge University Press 1987; issued in a paperback edition by the University of Illinois Press in 2004); edited with Shubha Chaudhuri: Archives for the Future, Global Perspectives on Audiovisual Archives in the 21st Century (Seagull India, Calcutta, 2004) and Remembered Rhythms Seagull Indian, Calcutta 2010).  He was executive producer of over 250 compact discs published by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings between 1989 and 2000.