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Nashville Sound: Hargus “Pig” Robbins

Hargus “Pig” Robbins might be the most famous piano player you’ve never heard of, though you’ve likely heard his work. The National Conference of Librarians Serving Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals will begin in a matter of days in Nashville, Tennessee, so today I want to tell you about a musician who is blind and […]

What’s New on BARD?

We’re happy to learn that our patrons are increasingly using BARD to download music materials. Let’s take a look at some new additions to BARD:   Audio Materials Classic Harmonica Blues by Smithsonian Folkways (DBM03629) Cowboy Songs by Smithsonian Folkways. (DBM03627) Flirting with Disaster. For guitar. Performed and taught by Bill Brown. (DBM03887) The Hammer […]

American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: E (Part 1 – Ellington, Duke)

Continuing our series of American composers from A to Z, we come to the letter E. Personally, I can think of no better example than Duke Ellington. I consider him to be one of the first great quintessential “American” composers of his time, who wrote music in a true American idiom, rather than copying Western […]

Something’s Coming, Something Good!

This is a very special year for Broadway and classical music fans and those of us at the Library of Congress;  we’re marking the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth. For a man who was born in 1918, his music still has fans snapping their fingers (x…x…x is a symbol in print music notation in West […]

Carnegie Hall of the South: Nashville’s Musical Legacy, Part 2

This is the second half of a two-part post on Nashville’s musical history and related books in the NLS Music Collection. Read the first part here: Athens of the South: Nashville’s Musical Legacy, Part 1. Nashville’s most famous music venue, the Ryman Auditorium, was completed in 1892 and was originally a church called the Union […]

Athens of the South: Nashville’s Musical Legacy, Part 1

Here in the Music Section of the National Library Service we are counting down the days until the National Conference of Librarians Serving Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals begins next month in Music City, Nashville, Tennessee! As I mentioned in my last article, I’ve been taking the opportunity to learn about the musical history of […]

Digitizing Braille Music 2018

This is our fourth blog on the digitization of braille music. So, what is new with this project? First, we are boosting our production by outsourcing the proofreading of scores scanned using Optical Braille Recognition (OBR). Our braille music specialist Gilbert Busch continues to review all the scans completed on DotScan so we can provide […]

Bernstein at 100

When I was in grade school, our chorus teacher let us hear a record called What Is Jazz (DBM00704), where tone color, blue notes, syncopation, and other aspects of jazz were described by a man named Leonard Bernstein (I assumed that he was a jazz piano player). By sixth grade I was listening to classical music […]

American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: D (Part 2 – Davis, “Blind” John and Dranes, Arizona)

Blind John Davis Blind John Davis was born in Mississippi in 1913, but moved to Chicago with his family at a young age.  He lost his sight shortly thereafter at age 9. He began to learn the piano as a teen, and later became a regular session musician for famous blues record producer Lester Melrose […]

Nashville Cats!

According to the song “Nashville Cats” by the Lovin’ Spoonful, there are “thirteen-hundred and fifty-two guitar pickers in Nashville.”  I wouldn’t question that number, but in fact I suspect it has increased dramatically since that song debuted in 1966. As my colleague Lindsay Conway wrote about in her blog post Music City 101:  NLS Heads […]