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Naxos Music Library World is the most comprehensive online World Music library available, with music from more than 150 countries and 1,500 cultural groups. NML World contains more than 5,000 albums from such renowned labels as Smithsonian Folkways, ARC, Warner, Sony, Naxos World, plus dozens of other smaller independent labels. ...

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Odette Scott

The Musically Curious Explore the Globe with Naxos Music Library World’s New Interactive Map

Naxos Music Library World has created a new tool to enrich curious listeners’ music discovery experiences—an interactive map of the world. As the first streaming service dedicated to world music, NML World has already cornered the market on providing recent releases from today’s popular labels along with historically significant field recordings and everything in between. The map now enables users to start searches with “from WHERE do I want to hear music?” rather than “This music is from WHERE?”

NML World’s new interactive map brings fascinating songs to people who understand and enjoy music through their eyes as well as their ears. Each release’s title appears in its native language with its English translation. And enlarging cover art and booklets shows full liner notes to accompany the streaming tracks. Going far beyond the track title or artist, Naxos lets you search by label, country, date, and a range of other key factors, helping reveal the conditions and circumstances that produce interesting songs from everywhere.

“World music tends to be an abstract term, not connected to time or place,” says Nick Floyd, Sales and Marketing Director for NML World in North America. “Browsing origins of records visually by map can add context to the listening experience. All of a sudden lost voices come to life in full detail!”

The map adds a graphic element to enliven the search process for all ages. Comparing and contrasting styles, languages, and instrumentation becomes a fun game while stealthily piquing users’ interests in geography, musicology, linguistics, and anthropology. And this kind of search unearths delightful surprises! We might click Northern Africa expecting tribal music and instead find quite different Egyptian and Moroccan works. We’ll find tribal music in Central Africa, along with anthems of the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola and biblical psalms sung in one of the 279 languages spoken in Cameroon.

Users should be ready for the map to generate any music possibly relevant to their inquiries. “Country borders are very defined, while musically distinct cultural groups can live in many countries at once,” comments Nick D’Angiolillo, Director of Licensing and Library Services. For example, clicking on Western Europe might bring up Australian works if composers, titles, or other identifiers are related to Western Europe. Albums including works from multiple regions and cultures show up under all possible map locations. So while exclusively Amazonian music appears only in South America, Jewish music can be found in Southern Asia, Western Asia, Eastern Europe, and right here in North America.

While today’s online platforms are generally produced by data experts, NML World is carefully curated by knowledgeable music lovers, who happen to also be data experts. The team of more than 35 musicologists ensure unparalleled classification accuracy, and the listening audience can help it continuously improve. If a work’s associated location or cultural group needs to be reconsidered, D’Angiolillo says, “We have a musical discussion. We use listener and staff feedback and wrestle over cataloging decisions, which sets our service apart.” To contribute to the conversation and set the record(ings) straight, just click on “Send Feedback!”  A real human who is passionate about music is ready for your message and eager to keep the conversation going.

About Naxos Music Library:

Naxos Music Library sets the industry standard in streaming classical music, featuring over 120,000 albums from 750 prestigious record labels, including BIS, Blue Note Records, Chandos, Sony Classical, Nettwerk Music Group, RCA Records, Sun Records, Universal Music Classics, Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, Virgin Classics, Warner Classics & Jazz (including the former EMI Classics catalog), Nimbus, and many others. With almost 1.7M tracks of music and tools for music education, Naxos Music Library is available for institutional and professional subscriptions and is currently enjoyed by over 2,000 universities, performing arts organizations, and public libraries throughout the world.