Finding Strayhorn: Reflections from Chris Potter

The following is a guest post from saxophonist Chris Potter, who participated in the Music Division’s Finding Strayhorn discussion panel on June 12, 2019. My visit to the Library of Congress fortunately coincided with the announcement that the Billy Strayhorn Music Manuscripts and Estate Papers are now available for the public to study. I was […]

Thinking About Eric Dolphy On His Birthday

He was only 36 when he died in Berlin in 1964, but the gifted, avant-garde innovator Eric Dolphy (June 20, 1928-June 29, 1964) helped change the landscape for jazz improvisers through his collaborations with John Coltrane, Gunther Schuller, Charles Mingus and his own projects. He was a multi-instrumentalist who found his distinctive voice on alto […]

Goodwill and Ballet: The Story behind the Original Score to Ginastera’s Estancia

The following is a guest post from Music Division scholar-volunteer K. Mitchell “Mitch” Snow, with an introduction from Dance Archivist Libby Smigel. Readers of the Music Division’s In the Muse blog will have already met Mitch Snow through his posting on the Maxine Glorsky Papers. His scholarly pursuits have made him invaluable in many quarters […]

Johann Baptist Wanhal and the First Viennese School

The mention of late-eighteenth century Vienna frequently conjures thoughts of well-known composers like Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven. But since I joined a project reporting pre-1800 imprints and manuscripts to RISM (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales, an open-access database that lets you see which libraries have a certain published score or unique manuscript), I would like […]

Celebrating Walt Whitman’s 200th Birthday

Since publishing Leaves of Grass in June 1855, Walt Whitman and his poetry have captured the American imagination. Not until the early twentieth century, however, did composers begin to draw from and set to music Whitman’s work in earnest. Today, 200 years after Whitman’s birth, his settings have inspired over 500 composers to write over […]

Mary Hallock Greenewalt: Rembrandt of the Piano

The following is a guest post from Lara Szypszak, Reference Librarian in the Manuscript Division. Mary Hallock Greenewalt (1871-1950) was a musician, inventor, businesswoman, and all around go-getter, whose work leaves traces throughout several divisions of the Library of Congress, most prominently in the Manuscript and Music Divisions. Greenewalt was born in Bhamdoun, a small […]