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Lunchtime Lecture: As The Old Sing, So The Young Twitter

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"The Flute Player." Lucas Vorsterman, the elder. Dayton C. Miller Musical Iconography Collection

The following is a guest post by Reference Specialist Caitlin Miller, who will soon be joining me as a regular blogger for In the Muse.

About every six months or so, the Music Division welcomes a new exhibit into the Performing Arts Reading Room foyer. We are currently thrilled to host an exhibit dedicated to our Miller Flute Collection and curated by our musical instruments specialist, Carol Lynn Ward-Bamford. “As The Old Sing, So The Young Twitter”, as the exhibit is named, calls upon the undeniable relationship between flute music and birdsong. Both flutes and birds share the ability to “twitter”, “chatter”, “record”, and “warble”, and the exhibit guides you through each comparison. Upon entering the exhibit you’ll be dazzled by an English manual published in 1717 intended to aid nightingale and linnet owners in teaching their birds to sing, a recorder dating from the early to mid-1600s, and more marvelous materials from the Dayton C. Miller Collection. The exhibit is open until October 30, from Monday through Saturday between 8:30am and 5:00pm. You can find information about our location on the Performing Arts Reading Room website.

The Miller Collection is comprised of instruments, scores, books, correspondence, iconography, and more, all related to the flute and its history. Miller, a physicist and astronomer who also had a great interest in acoustics and flute music, donated his collection of flutes and other wind instruments to the Library of Congress in 1941. The current flute exhibit coincides with the newly added Miller Iconography online presentation in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia, so feast your eyes upon the gorgeous images we have to offer!

And for DC locals – Carol Lynn Ward-Bamford, our Instrument Curator, will be giving a lunchtime talk and tour of the exhibit on Monday, September 27 at noon. Come on down to the Madison Building and meet up in the foyer of the Performing Arts Reading Room for this special treat!

And remember that today we release another one hundred photos from the William P. Gottlieb Collection to Flickr.  This week’s set includes portraits of jazz legends like Coleman Hawkins, Earl Hines, Billie Holiday (including a few with her canine friend Mister) , Lena Horne, Louis Jordan and more.

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