Tooting our own Kazoo

The following is a guest post by Julianne Mangin, Library Services. National Kazoo Day, recognized on January 28th, celebrates what is perhaps the most accessible of all musical instruments, the kazoo.  If you can hum a tune, you can play a kazoo, which takes your voice and changes its timbre to give it a comically […]

Happy Birthday Mozart!

From Dolly Parton to Django Reinhardt to Robert Burns, the strange bedfellows whose birthdays we have celebrated this past week demonstrate the breadth of the Music Division’s collections.  Today’s guest of honor is none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born on this day in 1756. The Performing Arts Encyclopedia features a number of  the maestro’s […]

Our Distinguished Visitors

Reference Specialist Larry Appelbaum has helped welcome a diverse array of musical luminaries to the Music Division.  Here are just a few. Herbie Hancock, upon receiving his Living Legends award. Dave Brubeck’s 2003 performance in the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium can be heard here. Larry recently interviewed Mr. Brubeck and his wife and lyricist Iola Brubeck. […]

Music to eat Haggis by

The following is a guest post by Elizabeth Fulford  Miller, Library Services, with an h/t to Stephen Winick of the American Folklife Center. Scotland’s national “bard” was born on January 25, 1759, and all around the world “Burns suppers” – complete with bagpipes, a special Scottish dish called “haggis,” poetry and song – will be […]

Happy Birthday Django!

There are but a handful of musicians whose innovations changed the way their instrument is played.  Among these is guitarist Django Reinhardt, born January 23rd, 1910. Let us remember his centenary with this photo by William P. Gottlieb (whose birthday is January 28th). Listen to Gottlieb talk about Django and this photo session here.

Music and the Brain that Wouldn’t Die!

Now that I have your attention: tonight in the Whittall Pavilion, adjacent to the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library’s Jefferson Building, the Music Division resumes its popular lecture series Music and the Brain . These pre-concert presentations offer lectures, conversations and symposia about the explosion of new research at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and […]

The Big Beat

The photographs of  William P. Gottlieb (1917-2006 ) are a priceless document of the jazz era in the ’30’s and ’40’s.  In the Muse will occasionally highlight selections from this collection. Today we celebrate the birthdays of two legendary jazz drummers. When the Music Division prepared the Gottlieb collection for digitization in the ’90’s, Gottlieb worked […]

In Memoriam: Edward Beach

The Music Division was saddened to learn that legendary jazz broadcaster Edward Beach passed awayon Christmas Day.  Beach was the host of “Just Jazz,” a radio program which ran in New York City from the early 1960s to the mid-1970s.  The Library of Congress is home to the Edward Beach Collection, which consists of his broadcast […]