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Category: Musical Instruments

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Pic of the Week: Whistle While You Bike Edition

Posted by: Pat Padua

The third annual Washington Tweed Ride (the autumnal iteration of the Seersucker Social, which we mentioned in the late spring) is upon us again, in which local hipsterati don their finest and pedal vintage bicycles around our increasingly bike-friendly town. In honor of the dapper velocipedists primed to pedal among the hills of our great …

Woman with dark hair, fancy dress and pearls with eyes closed and mouth slightly open, singing

Pic of the Week: Birth of the Sax Edition

Posted by: Pat Padua

On this date in 1846, Belgian-born Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe”  Sax patented the family of instruments that bear his name.  The saxophone was originally developed in two categories,  an orchestral group and a band or military group, of seven instruments each.  Only a handful of these varieties are in common use today, although composer/musician Anthony Braxton, who …

Woman with dark hair, fancy dress and pearls with eyes closed and mouth slightly open, singing

Arf Musica

Posted by: Pat Padua

Today the blogosphere celebrates National Puppy Day. In the Muse throws their august paw into the ring with this unusual whistle made by an unknown crafstman.   According to the item’s description, “the dog’s neck contains a threaded hole indicating this was a handle for something, possibly a small walking cane.”  We do not know if …

Woman with dark hair, fancy dress and pearls with eyes closed and mouth slightly open, singing

And the Strads Play On…

Posted by: Cait Miller

The Strads. They make string players salivate, and everyone knows the name to be synonymous with excellence. But how much do you really know about these pristine creatures of sound? Let’s start with the name – “Stradivarius”. Many are at least familiar with the fact that these string instruments were created by the famous violin …

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The Art of Music: The Dayton C. Miller Collection

Posted by: Pat Padua

The following is a guest post by Jan Lancaster, Music Division. Works of art on paper invite contemplation. Drawings express an artist’s most immediate thoughts. They have a purity, an elegance. Every touch of the pencil, pen, or brush distills and crystallizes a moment in the artist’s thought process. Printmaking – the art of making …

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Come for the Stradivarius, Stay for the Buchla 100 Modular Synthesizer

Posted by: Pat Padua

Earlier this week the Library announced this year’s inductees into the National Recording Registry. Among the inductees is Morton Subotnick’s “Silver Apples of the Moon,” a piece composed on one of the unlikely treasures of the Music Division’s instrument collection. The following is a guest post by Steve Antosca,  a composer living and working in …

Woman with dark hair, fancy dress and pearls with eyes closed and mouth slightly open, singing

Happy Birthday Les Paul

Posted by: Pat Padua

Guitarist and inventor Les Paul was born on this day in 1915.  Paul helped develop the Gibson Les Paul solid-body electric guitar, an instrument so iconic that the foreword to Les Paul’s memoir was written by none other than Paul McCartney.  Les Paul died last year, but his handiwork continues to be heard from the …