Wolfgang Laade Music of Man Archive

The private collection "Wolfgang Laade Music of Man Archive" consists of ~45.000 sound carriers (records, compact discs and music cassettes). They were collected between 1950 and 1995 by the Swiss music ethnologist Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Laade. The 'Music of Man Archive' also includes a research library (about 13,000 individual titles), musical instruments (about 1,000 objects) as well as videos, ethnographica and an extensive collection of documents.

Wolfgang Laade aimed to document the global diversity of musical forms of expression. He was particularly interested in larger socio-cultural contexts. As a collector, Laade deliberately did not separate between non-Western and Western forms of music or between folk music, popular music and art music, as is usually the case in musicology. Instead, Laade attempted to view music as a universal phenomenon and to capture various music in its culturally specific forms independent of its origins. In this sense, Laade also largely dispensed with fundamental aesthetic questions. This approach is directly reflected in the composition of the collection: Thus, the "Music of Man Archive" contains Inuit songs of contention alongside Bach partitas, Hindu temple songs alongside German pop singer Roland Kaiser, and Algerian Rai next to socialist collective compositions.