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Over the Rainbow, and More: Part 1

Every year, 25 recordings are added to the LOC’s National Recording registry, recordings that are considered “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” The purpose of this blog is not to list all 25 of them, but to highlight those where the song is part of the NLS Music collection. Most of these items may be downloaded from BARD. Keep reading, you may find some surprises, as I did.

Over the Rainbow

Over the Rainbow Judy Garland’s 1939 recording reminds me of family gathered around the television to enjoy “The Wizard of Oz.” In braille there is Popular Music Lead Sheets No. 34, BRM29295; a George Shearing arrangement in “The Giants of Jazz Piano”, BRM35937, volume 2; a version for B-flat cornet in “Our School Band Book”, BRM17941; plus “Popular Songs of Inspiration for Flute”, BRM34561; A version for B-flat clarinet and piano is at BRM21194.

Large-print readers will find the song in “Through the Years, Golden Standards”, ed. By Carol Cuellar, LPM621. And in “Standards and Showtunes, Book One”, by Dick Fieldhouse, LPM779.

In audio format, Bill Brown can teach you to play it by ear: On Alto sax, DBM02728; fingerstyle guitar, DBM03472; regular guitar DBM02665; soft-rock guitar (Eva Cassidy cover), DBM02809; piano, DBM02414.

American Pie

At first I just let myself enjoy the infectious beat of the music, but later I wrote to my favorite rock station, asking for their explanation of the lyrics (“When the jester sang for the king and queen in a coat he borrowed from James Dean”, etc.). RNIB’s transcription of the song is at BRM22298. The song is also included in “Great Songs of the 70s”, ed. By Milton Okun, BRM27690.

Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing

Two recordings of this great song were selected, one by Manhattan Harmony Four from 1923, along with a later version by Melba Moore. NLS patrons may borrow a large print version at LPM636 or  a braille version at BRM29554.

I will have more songs in Part Two.

Good Friday

The following post is from John Hanson, former Section Head of the NLS Music Section. Tomorrow is Good Friday. It is a major Christian holiday marking Jesus’ crucifixion. “Holiday” seems a little too joyful a term given its origin.  But the stock market is closed. Wall Street has a holiday. For me, growing up, Good Friday was […]

Ganne, Alford, Holst, and Others: Music of World War I

This April marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I. The Library of Congress is commemorating that significant anniversary with exhibits, publications, and other various activities. As part of this commemoration, the NLS Music Section was asked to provide braille music for blind visitors. While going through the collection, we […]

Celebrating Black Composers

In honor of Black History Month, this blog post will highlight materials in the music section that are written by or about African American composers. These composers wrote in many styles, including popular, Western classical, jazz, gospel, and more. Here is some music by three Black composers that we have available in our collection. Harry […]

An Interview with Stephanie Pieck, Part 2

This is the second part of my interview with Stephanie Pieck. Q) Explaining your teaching philosophy, you wrote, “I faced many instances in which the general opinion was that a blind person couldn’t learn. But I also had many very dedicated teachers who knew this wasn’t true; all that was needed was a different way to […]

An Interview with Stephanie Pieck, Part 1

I am excited to share my interview with Stephanie Pieck, a pianist, teacher, and an NLS patron. Stephanie received her bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Ithaca College and maintains a private music studio in New York. Q) How old were you when you started playing the piano? What motivated you to start playing? A) […]

A Miniaturist and More

For many music lovers, the end of January brings to mind two birthdays: Mozart’s on the 27th, and Schubert’s on the 31st. Could a composer born between these two giants, end up being overlooked? Perhaps. It was while preparing my blog about the Viking Opera Guide (BRM29585) that I learned that the 29th of January […]

Newest BARD Additions

Since we are on a roll talking about BARD, I thought it would be good to highlight some of the new (or newly digitized) titles that we’ve uploaded to BARD over the past few weeks. Talking Books Uncle Dave Macon (DBM03766) This is a look at “Uncle Dave” Macon (also known as “The Dixie Dewdrop) and […]

BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download)

Recently, I’ve been dismayed to hear some patrons say, “I know you don’t have such and such in your collection because I already checked on BARD.” After receiving a few of these comments, I realized that some of our patrons mistakenly believe that our entire collection is available on BARD.  I would like to use […]