Bach’s Birthday

Baseball season is just around the corner; Johann Sebastian Bach (not to be confused with Canadian heavy-metal singer Sebastian Bach) has just celebrated a birthday; what better time than now to revisit  From Bach to Baseball Cards: Preserving the  Nation’s Heritage at the Library of Congress. This web presentation looks at some of the problems […]

Life Begins at 8:40

The following post is by Mark Eden Horowitz, Senior Music Specialist. On March 22nd, the Music Division of the Library of Congress will present a concert of the 1934 musical revue, Life Begins at 8:40. Though the show and score may not sound familiar, five years later four of  the original participants joined forces for […]

A bit o’ Blarney from the Music Division

The  Music Division’s bonnie collections offer a variety of ways to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day. Play an Irish bagpipe from the Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection. Follow along to the reels described in Rinnce na h-Éireann : a simplified work on the performance of the dances of Ireland, from An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals. Develop […]

Great Mustaches of the Library of Congress: Music Division Edition

Our present-day fascination with the facial hair of yore may have behind it a number of reasons: a yearning for the sartorial elegance of by-gone days; an urge to lampoon the historical patriarchal hegemony;  the deep-seated instinct, like that found among birdwatchers and trainspotters, to catalogue the varieties of hirsute experience; a lot of spare […]

An’ a one, an’ a two …

Bandleader-accordionist Lawrence Welk  was the musical voice of a faraway time in America, before  punk rock, hip-hop, and Lady Gaga.  The son of German immigrants from the Ukraine, Welk was born in Strasburg, North Dakota on March 11, 1903.  The first big break in Welk’s long and storied career came in 1927, when Lawrence Welk […]

Happy 100th Birthday, Samuel Barber!

The following post is by James Wintle, Reference Specialist. The Music Division of the Library of Congress, in cooperation with the Samuel Barber estate and G. Schirmer, Inc., have created an online exhibition of original manuscripts, correspondence, and performances to commemorate the birth of one of America’s most beloved composers. The web presentation is available […]

Women’s History Month: Katherine Dunham

Katherine Dunham was an American dancer-choreographer who was best known for incorporating African American, Caribbean, African, and South American movement styles and themes into her ballets. The Katherine Dunham Collection at the Library of Congress consists of moving image materials that document the extraordinary journey of a woman who changed the face of American modern […]

Stop! In the Name of Music!

In Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of the Anthony Burgess novel A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm Macdowell is memorably conditioned to veer from his life of ultra-violence with generous doses of Ludwig Van.  But does music really sooth the savage breast? Does blasting Barry Manilow at high volume  drive away delinquent teenagers? The answer may surprise you. […]

Our National Anthem

On this date in 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed the Act establishing “The Star Spangled Banner” as the National Anthem of the United States of America.  The Library of Congress has in its collections a treasure trove of  sheet music (including a Spanish-language edition), song sheets (including two in German), and recordings of  “The Star […]

Roger Reynolds: Artists and Technology

Today, March 3rd, at 2:00 pm in the Whittall Pavillion, adjacent to the Coolidge Auditorium in the Jefferson Building, the Music Division plays host to a forum on Artists and Technology.  A presentation by composers Steve Antosca and Roger Reynolds will be moderated by Professor Thomas DeLio from the University of Maryland, College Park. This […]