African Music Archives (AMA)

The African Music Archives (AMA), founded in 1991, contains a collection of modern African music which is unique in Germany. It includes shellacs and vinyl-records, audio- and videotapes, CD’s and DVD’s. At present, there are approx. 10.000 sound carriers, part of them dating back to the 1940’s. Regional emphasis is on Ethiopia, Ghana, Cameroon, Congo (Ex-Zaire), Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania. Beyond that, more or less representative inventories from almost any sub-Saharan Country can be found in the collection, which is continuously extended by additional purchases. Several thousands of newspaper clippings are preserved, sorted by country, genre and artist. The articles, reports, interviews, reviews, etc. present a vast amount of background material that can be inspected on the spot.


For updates, infos on African music, events, etc. please check our FB page.

In June 2016, ethnomusicologist Mitchel Strumpf and music teacher and oud player Hassan Mahenge from Dhow Countries Music Academy were guests at the AMA and the Musikhochschule Mainz in a project focussing on intercultural music teaching. This project is funded by Gutenberg Lehrkolleg.

Objects of the AMA's collection are currently showcased in three museums in Mainz. More information can be found here (in German).

The online platform "Music in Africa" hosted a number of discussions at Musikmesse Frankfurt on April 8th. The AMA's director was present at a public discussion on archives. The video documentation can be found here (in German).

Presentation and soundclash at Goethe Institute Nancy with Didier Francfort and Hauke Dorsch, 25.2.2016

Concert of the Rwandan Band "The Good Ones" at Baron on Campus. Dec., 6th 2015 organized by the AMA, introduced by Dr. Anna-Maria Brandstetter.

Feature on the AMA on DeutschlandRadio Kultur as part of a series on university collections (in German)

Short interview on SWR2 about Miriam Makeba with Hauke Dorsch (in German)

AMA co-organized the conference Memory, Power and Knowledge in African Music and Beyond in the Dhow Countries Music Academy in June 2015 in Zanzibar. Organizers: Centre for World Music Hildesheim, the University of Cape Coast, Ghana and the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria. Here is the schedule

Fela Kuti’s LP ”J.J.D.” is ”Object of the Month” in May 2015 of the collection of the JGU.

AMA concert on Friday 30th January 2015, on Campus

A short broadcast on the AMA by SWR 2 Radio, 25.10.2014.

In April 2014 the AMA moved to a new building. It is now located at SB II Colonel-Kleinmann-Weg 2, EG.

Call for Papers: Conference "Memory, Power, and Knowledge in African Music and Beyond", September 03-06, 2014 at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, Submission Deadline: January 15, 2014

Stolen Moments: Invited by the AMA, Namibian musician Eljakim "Baby" Doeseb" and scholar Aino Moongo are currently (end of September and October 2013) visiting a number of German cultural institutions, like museums, galleries, record labels and more in order to exchange ideas on exhibiting popular music. This research project, based on earlier collections of musical and oral history records collected by these two specialists for National Archives Namibia,  looks at Namibian pre-independence popular music. The research trip is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation's TURN programme.

Rare Sounds From Africa
A short portrait of the AMA by Nigeria's portal Naij, 30.01.2013

African Music from the Basement
The University of Mainz' own JGU magazine presents the AMA, 7.11.2012

La Representació Visual De La Música Africana
The exhibition that accompanied the symposium 'African Music in the 21st Century - An Iconic Turn' was shown in Barcelona, 13.-22.10.2012

Abbas Showcases His Videos at International Symposium
The Kenyan entertainment website Ghafla on the performance of Abbas Kubaff on the symposium "African Music in the 21st Century", 17.7.2012

African Music in the 21st Century - An Iconic Turn?
An International Symposium Celebrating the 21st Anniversary of the African Music Archives Mainz (AMA). Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany. June 13th - 16th 2012
Convenors: Hauke Dorsch, Matthias Krings
Programme; poster

An Unexpected Home for African Music: The German City of Mainz
Article on the AMA by Andrea Löbbecke on 'monsters and critics', March, 1st, 2012

The research project "Festivalisation and Interculturality - Music Festivals in Africa and Germany" has been started. So far research focused on representations of Africa at African music festivals in German speaking countries. At a later stage we will look at music festivals in different African countries. The project is funded by the Centre for Intercultural Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

Short Clip on the AMA (in German language)

"Indépendance ChaCha - African Pop Music since the Independence Era" A contribution by Hauke Dorsch in Africa Spectrum 45, 3 / 2010

"Sounds of Africa" an article on the AMA by Oliver Sefrin, "Deutschland" magazine, hosted by German Missions in South Africa

"African Music Finds a Home in Germany" Interview with Hauke Dorsch
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