Are You Ready for some Football?

The East Coast is bracing for another major snowstorm this weekend, but some readers may already have plans to stay glued to the television Sunday night. Today my colleage Donna Scanlon takes a look at Super Bowl ads on Inside Adams: Science, Technology, & Business, while In the Muse delves into the musical origins of […]

African-American History Month

Celebrate African-American History month with a presentation of  African-American Band Stocks on the Performing Arts Encyclopedia. This collection of “stock” arrangements – published orchestrations for instrumental groups – is written by some of the most important African-American composers of the early 20th century. Among those represented are J. Rosamond Johnson,  whose most famous song,  “Lift Ev’ry Voice […]

Hungarian Jazz Showcase Panel

I was recently invited by the Palace of Arts in Budapest to moderate a panel discussion during their Hungarian Jazz Showcase. The audience was a mix of music students and faculty from the Liszt Academy, as well as professional musicians and enthusiasts who wanted to participate. My fellow panelists included a record producer, music journalist […]

Tooting our own Kazoo

The following is a guest post by Julianne Mangin, Library Services. National Kazoo Day, recognized on January 28th, celebrates what is perhaps the most accessible of all musical instruments, the kazoo.  If you can hum a tune, you can play a kazoo, which takes your voice and changes its timbre to give it a comically […]

Happy Birthday Mozart!

From Dolly Parton to Django Reinhardt to Robert Burns, the strange bedfellows whose birthdays we have celebrated this past week demonstrate the breadth of the Music Division’s collections.  Today’s guest of honor is none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born on this day in 1756. The Performing Arts Encyclopedia features a number of  the maestro’s […]

Our Distinguished Visitors

Reference Specialist Larry Appelbaum has helped welcome a diverse array of musical luminaries to the Music Division.  Here are just a few. Herbie Hancock, upon receiving his Living Legends award. Dave Brubeck’s 2003 performance in the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium can be heard here. Larry recently interviewed Mr. Brubeck and his wife and lyricist Iola Brubeck. […]

Music to eat Haggis by

The following is a guest post by Elizabeth Fulford  Miller, Library Services, with an h/t to Stephen Winick of the American Folklife Center. Scotland’s national “bard” was born on January 25, 1759, and all around the world “Burns suppers” – complete with bagpipes, a special Scottish dish called “haggis,” poetry and song – will be […]

Happy Birthday Django!

There are but a handful of musicians whose innovations changed the way their instrument is played.  Among these is guitarist Django Reinhardt, born January 23rd, 1910. Let us remember his centenary with this photo by William P. Gottlieb (whose birthday is January 28th). Listen to Gottlieb talk about Django and this photo session here.

Music and the Brain that Wouldn’t Die!

Now that I have your attention: tonight in the Whittall Pavilion, adjacent to the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library’s Jefferson Building, the Music Division resumes its popular lecture series Music and the Brain . These pre-concert presentations offer lectures, conversations and symposia about the explosion of new research at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and […]