The Internet Music Mapping Project: Introduction

YouTube is massive and indispensable. It is our collective memory. That goes for everything, including music.

As dominant as it is, there is a rich online music world beyond YouTube. Some of these millions of music sites are well known, others are obscure. Some are sleek commercial undertakings, others are clunky products of an individual’s love of a particular performer or genre. They focus on different facets of the broad musical landscape, from instruction to parental guides to trivia.

buddy bolden
Buddy Bolden (top, holding cornet) is an even more mythic figure than Robert Johnson. Bolden no doubt is the last great musician who wasn’t recorded (though rumors persist that a wax cylinder does exist). 

The main goal of this The Internet Music Mapping Project is simple: We want to list as many of these sites as possible in a coherent and accessible manner.  The secondary aim is to point to sites and videos, books, movies, etc. that are particularly cool. Currently, the project — which will continue to expand — links to about 700 sites.

This actually supposed was to be an ebook series, with the first focusing on rock. Unfortunately, Amazon/Kindle didn’t cooperate (long dumb story). So, instead, I am posting all the info I collected online. That false start is why rock is over-represented right now. It will equalize with other genres over time.

The first online home of the content was a sister site, The Daily Music Break. I am slowly bringing it all over. On the right hand column are links to each category covered. Each of those pages has a description of the individual sites and a link. At the top is a page with the links and no descriptions.

The categories are flexible and many sites truly belong in several, though they were put where they fit best. The descriptions are mostly from the sites’ about pages, though some are from Facebook or YouTube pages. A few are from Wikipedia. Failing all else, I wrote a few brief ones.

It’s a lot of fun. The last word belongs to Louis Armstrong, as usually is the case in American music. This was to be the ebook’s epigraph:

“I buy everybody’s records. I’ve got the Beatles, I’ve got everybody. They say, ‘What do you think about The Beatles?’ I say, ‘They’re great. They’ve got a new beat there.’ You know what I mean? And it’s alright…You see, we’ve got to be not too partial to one kind of music. We’ve got to appreciate all kinds of music. That’s what I am trying to put in your heads. Listen to all kinds of music.”

The idea is simple: It’s (almost) all good. The hope is that music fans who want to go beyond the superficial will find value in “Beyond YouTube: The Internet Music Mapping Project.” If you know of any music sites that are not represented here, please send them to me at this email. I’ll credit you if you’d like.

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