Brush up your Shakespeare

In the Muse has regularly featured photographs from the William P. Gottlieb Collection when commemorating the birthdays of jazz greats like Billie Holiday, Django Reinhardt, and Ben Webster. But that’s not all that’s in the collection. Today, the observed birthday of William Shakespeare, enjoy this photograph, which originally appeared in Down Beat magazine in 1947 […]

Everybody’s Heard About the Bird

If you missed the news over on the Library of Congress Blog, the Library announced that they will digitally archive the public record of the latest iteration of the tin-can and wire:  Twitter. While we in the Music Division are still holding on to our telephone machines and pedalling to work on our velocipedes, this […]

Dexter Gordon

“Jazz to me is a living music. It’s a music that since its beginning has expressed the feelings, the dreams, hopes, of the people.”  Those are the words of tenor saxophone great Dexter Gordon, born in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, 1923. Gordon performed with Lionel Hampton’s and Louis Armstrong’s bands in the 1940s, and […]

Take me out to the Ball Game

The following post is taken in part from an article written by Susan Clermont, Music Specialist, for the Performing Arts Encyclopedia. Like no other American sport, baseball has been glorified and preserved in musical form by inspired songwriters and poets since its beginnings. In 1858, the year when amateur baseball teams in the northeast established […]

Happy Easter

The glorious weather we’re having in Washington gives us much to celebrate in both the secular and spiritual realms. See Easter hymns from the Coptic tradition in Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant & Hymnody in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia. Remember Passover with the Yiddish play,  The mother of the world, or, Children come home in The American […]

Laughter is the best Music

“Hardly had the first song been composed before someone invented singing it out of tune. ” — Victor Borge, My Favorite Comedies in Music This April Fool’s Day, before asking your chum if she’d like to hear your musical henway,  read  what Leonard Bernstein said about Humor in Music in a script for one of […]