This is Your Lucky Day!

Summer means baseball, and baseball has a long history of superstition, but before you decide to stop bathing after your next no-hitter,  remember that the performing arts is far from immune to the allure of old wives’ tales. The most notable superstition in the repertoire may be that of theater professionals who refer to one […]

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

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 […]

I saw Sir Paul on TV

Last December I began this blog with the announcement that Sir Paul McCartney would be the recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Music.  I chatted with four Library of Congress staff members who experienced Beatlemania in person.  From the stands at the Beatles’ rehearsal for the Ed Sullivan show, to the screams that could be […]

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 […]

A bit o’ Blarney from the Music Division

The  Music Division’s bonnie collections offer a variety of ways to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day. Play an Irish bagpipe from the Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection. Follow along to the reels described in Rinnce na h-Éireann : a simplified work on the performance of the dances of Ireland, from An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals. Develop […]

Women’s History Month: Katherine Dunham

Katherine Dunham was an American dancer-choreographer who was best known for incorporating African American, Caribbean, African, and South American movement styles and themes into her ballets. The Katherine Dunham Collection at the Library of Congress consists of moving image materials that document the extraordinary journey of a woman who changed the face of American modern […]

African-American History Month: James Reese Europe

“He was our benefactor and inspiration. Even more, he was the Martin Luther King of Music.” Pianist Eubie Blake said this of  composer/bandleader James Reese Europe,  who was born in Mobile, Alabama on February 22, 1881. Europe’s accomplishments run from the grand “Concert of Negro Music” that he conducted for a 125-man orchestra at Carnegie Hall in […]