Country Roads Bring CMA to Library Concert, Collections Display

Most musicians probably would be satisfied during a performance with a single standing ovation.  But at a rousing concert Tuesday in the Coolidge Auditorium, the crowd leapt to their feet in applause no less than four times for a half dozen of country music’s most popular and influential stars—and even surprise “guest performer” Librarian of […]

Write to the Request Line

A bunch of ninth-grade girls got in touch with their favorite radio station, making a song request for a tune by one of their favorite artists.  But they couldn’t resist the chance to raise that universal complaint: “Why, why, why, why do you always repeat the same songs?” It could have been from the suburbs […]

Roll Over, Beethoven!

There’s something very satisfying in music about the number three: three notes in a basic chord, a romantic waltz in 3/4 time, the three-movement form of early symphonies. So it’s appropriate that the Library’s third blog (behind this one and “Inside Adams” from the Science, Technology and Business Division) would come from the Music Division. […]

The Soundtrack of Our (Cartoon) Lives

A cartoon can be engaging and funny and tell a story without any audible sound at all; even newspaper cartoons of the 20th century featured characters such as Ferd’nand and The Little King, (external links) who went through their paces, frame-by-frame, with little or no dialogue to move the story along. But sometimes, more is more, as […]

Come Taste the Music!

Friday evening at the Library of Congress, our ongoing “Music and the Brain” lecture series will tackle a truly fascinating phenomenon: people whose senses sometimes cross-stimulate, causing them to “hear a color” or “taste a shape.” This phenomenon, known as synesthesia, has been identified in a surprisingly large number of people over the years, including […]

Songs That Go Bump In The Night

‘Tis the season to be frightened, and the Performing Arts Encyclopedia is full of ghastly tunes for the musical goblins in your life. We start with Jean Schwartz and William Jerome’s “The Ghost that Never Walked.” The team, best-known for the song “Chinatown my Chinatown,” put this 1904 number into the show “Piff! Paff! Pouf!” to tell the […]

The Bebop Bridge

East may be East, and West may be West – but music is universal, and if the music is jazz, it’s even open all night! On Wednesday, Sept. 30 from noon to 1 p.m., Larry Appelbaum, the Library of Congress’ jazz music specialist, will co-anchor “A Russian-American Jazz Summit – Conversations on the American Influence […]

Merce Cunningham, Dance Great, Dies at 90

What is dance? Is it storytelling, using human forms to advance the storyline? Is it movement with music? Is it movement alone? Merce Cunningham, a giant of modern dance, asked these questions and answered them–affirmatively in each case–over seven decades.  He died, at age 90, on Sunday in Manhattan.  From his introduction to the avant-garde composer […]