One Small Dance Step For Man

Forty-one years ago today, astronaut Neil A. Armstrong became the first human being to set foot on the moon. The Apollo 11 broadcast from the moon on July 20, 1969, which transmitted Neil Armstrong’s immortal words,  “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” was named to the National Recording Registry in 2004. Remember one giant […]

New Webcasts

Followers of In the Muse will be pleased to know that a number of Music Division events covered in these virtual pages are now available on the Library of Congress’s Webcasts page. A Conversation with Dafnis Prieto and Larry Appelbaum A performance by the Dafnis Prieto Si O Si Quartet. Music and the Brain: Stage […]

Music to Drink Your Blood By

Are you a night person? Do garlic cloves make you break out, or worse?  Does Team Edward mean anything to you? If your answer to any or all of these questions is yes, you may enjoy “Vampire Polka,” by a composer known only as “Four-Eyes.”  Whatever societal anxieties may be behind the twenty-first century thirst […]

The Bicycle and the Bastille

Last week In the Muse brought you “The Battle of the Sewing Machines,” a 19th century piano piece that fondly mimics the chug of an old sewing machine. The piece features cover art that depicts sundry anthropomorphic sewing machines on the attack, revealing perhaps a bit of 19th century tension at the fate of man […]

The Battle of the Sewing Machines

Just over the transom via the American Folklife Center’s Facebook page, today is the birthday of Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine. Celebrate Howe’s gift, not only to the garment industry, but to mankind, with “The Battle of the Sewing Machines,” F. Hyde’s rhythmic impersonation of that old-fashioned sewing machine sound ca. 1874. The […]

Sing Along with the Founding Fathers

It’s not exactly Schoolhouse Rock, but between the barbecue and the fireworks, celebrate the long Independence Day weekend with John E. Wilson’s vocal arrangement of the Declaration of Independence from the Civil War Sheet Music collection. You can also find sheet music and recordings of  “God Bless America,”  “America the Beautiful,” “The Star Spangled Banner,” and […]

Robert Cole

This post is abridged from a biography written by James Wolf, Digital Conversion Specialist, Music Division, for African-American Band Music & Recordings, 1883-1923 in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia. Read the entire article here. Robert Allen Cole was born on July 1, 1868, in Athens, Georgia, the son of former slaves. Like Will Marion Cook and James […]

Mario Comes Home

Thanks to Christopher Hartten and Robin Rausch, Music Division, for contributing to this post. Prolific Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968) wrote music in virtually every genre. He began composing as a child and studied composition under Ildebrando Pizzetti. Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s 1932 meeting with guitarist Andrés Segovia would inspire him to write what would become dozens of […]