Rafael Ocasio: Music by Dr. Franz Boas

Rafael Ocasio, Professor of Spanish
Mellon-Funded Digital Faculty Fellow 2015-16
Tutor: Amy Patterson

I am hoping to edit musical clips that were recorded in 1914 by Dr. Franz Boas, an American anthropologist and folklorist performing field research in Puerto Rico. Using wax rolls to be played on a little Gem Edison phonograph, these recordings are today part of the largest oral folklore musical collection gathered in a Spanish-speaking country. Dr. Boas is considered today the founding father of American anthropology and a leading scholar in the field of oral folklore. I have located rough copies of Boas’s recordings, barely audible but with high pedagogical and research potentials. According to preliminary assessment by Cal Burgamy, the audio quality of these recordings can be substantially improved with advanceduse of Audacity. The expected end result is to produce transcripts of the songs.

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