Sheet Music of the Week: End Times Edition

French, Clinton D. “The song of Armageddon.” Kansas City, Mo.: French Publishing Company, 1912.

Our colleagues at the Library of Congress blog have noted the trending topic of the end of the world, based on a reading of the Maya calendar that lays out the day of creation as Aug. 11, 3114 B.C., and the end of the world approaching on Dec. 21, 2012. Which is tomorrow. The Music Division does not endorse such a reading of the end times. However, the fact that this apocryphally crucial date falls on a Friday means that the world can party like it’s 1999.  And what better way to start the weekend or the apocalypse than with this week’s featured sheet music?   “The song of Armageddon” is misleadingly named, and speaks of battle not with Gog and Magog but of a historical campaign season. If one does subscribe to the idea of coming oblivion, you could do worse than hold on to this president’s signature teddy bear. For those looking forward to Christmas, recall previous In the Muse celebrations of the holiday season, with the help of composers like Serge Koussevitzky and Gerry Mulligan.

A Miró On Which To Dwell

Perhaps the greatest problem with musical warhorses is that in winning the battle for performance time they have triumphed over other works that could have been heard “in-steed.” There are certain works, however, that I do not begrudge their trot to the top; among these is Schubert’s String Quartet in G major, D. 887, the […]

Gershwin Prize 2013: Carole King

Yesterday came the announcement we all look forward to in the Music Division: the naming of the next Gershwin Prize recipient! Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced singer-songwriter Carole King as the next recipient of the distinguished Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The Gershwin Prize “celebrates the work of an artist whose career reflects […]

NOT Breaking Records: The History of Recording at the Library of Congress

While the Library of Congress is known for housing a treasure trove of materials ripe for the scholarly plucking, any library is only as good as the access it can provide to information. The accessibility of the collections—that less tangible but essential asset—is made possible by the Library’s employees, who possess a remarkable set of […]