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Congratulations Smokey Robinson!

This past week, the Library of Congress recognized Smokey Robinson as the winner of this year’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Smokey Robinson is probably most remembered as being the leader of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Hits for The Miracles included “Shop Around,” “Going to a Go-Go,” and “Tracks of My Tears.” Robinson also […]

Finding Jimi and Django

In a recent NLS Music Notes blog post, “The Festival That Changed American Music,” I read about rock stars such as Jimi Hendrix who performed at the first Monterey festival in 1967.  Because of the recordings listed there, and my own experience of the NLS collections, I assumed that anything we have on Hendrix would be in audio format. So […]

Tutti

As a musical direction, “tutti” means everyone, all voices, not just the sopranos, or the bass soloist, who just finished an aria. A musical work often requires many participants, as do many human endeavors. I recently blogged here about participating in a meeting with braille music transcribers. I observed how they consulted each other on […]

The Festival That Changed American Music

Nearly 50 years ago today marked the beginning of the Monterey International Pop Festival, one of the first rock festivals in the United States. Nowadays, rock festivals are a common occurrence, happening in various locations year-round. Back in 1967, though, the rock festival was not common. Monterey helped change all that, as the rock festival […]

Golden Days of Yesteryear

My attention recently was called to a very historic event; on June 2, 1896, Guglielmo Marconi applied to patent the radio. When we think of Marconi as the inventor of the radio, it is easily overshadowed by contemporary inventors of computers, 3-D printing, and copy machines. Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to have […]

Score Writing: Humor and Wit

A few weeks ago, I pulled a little book from the Music Section’s reference collection, An Introduction to Music Publishing: A Tour Through the Music Publishing Operations Involved in Transforming the Composer’s Manuscript Into a Printed Publication and Its Dissemination to the Student and the Performer. The front cover of this book features Beethoven as […]

Paris in the Springtime

Spring has sprung around these parts in Washington, DC, but for this blog post I am going to continue with our international theme and wax poetic about springtime in France. I’m bringing up this geographic location because two well-known French composers, Gabriel Fauré and Jules Massenet, share a birthday today, May 12! Although neither Fauré […]