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Uploading Folks

Since my last blog on Christmas Eve, January 2016 is here and almost gone! I was casting about for a blog subject, and while not everyone is experiencing a snowy winter, I would like to suggest it might be a good time to settle in and listen to some original artists in the folk field. […]

New Year, New BARD Titles

I hope everyone out there had a relaxing and peace-filled holiday season. Now that the year is almost through, it’s time to look ahead to 2016 and the new beginnings that await us there. In keeping with that spirit, this blog will highlight some of the newest braille and digital talking books that have been […]

Happy Birthday Nino Rota

Although motion pictures are, for all intents and purposes, a visual art form, one can still appreciate the music from those films on their own without the movie-going experience. For this I am grateful, as, being more drawn to music than film (and having limited spare time to catch all the movies that I’d like […]

George M!

“Over there! Over there!” “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy…” “You’re a grand old flag, you’re a high flying flag!” Do these songs seem familiar to you? Did you know that they were all written by the same composer, George M. Cohan? George M. Cohan (he’s usually referred to by his full name, middle initial and […]

So You’d Like to Be a Pop Superstar?

Guitar, bass, vocals, drums, piano…the makings of any good pop record, right? For our patrons out there who are looking to rock out to some pop music, we’ve got you covered. In a post from last September, my colleague Mary Dell Jenkins discussed our series of “Popular Music Lead Sheets,” which offers popular music selections […]

A King and a (Fairy) Queen: Music by Henry Purcell in the NLS Collection

Today (September 10th) we celebrate Henry Purcell’s 356th birthday [Note: this date is actually disputed as no official baptismal record has been found. However, we will use this commonly accepted date, as it gives us a chance to talk about his music!]. Purcell’s contribution to Western classical music is indispensable, as it has influenced numerous other […]

Back to School

September signifies many things to us–cooler temperatures, leaves starting to turn, and…back to school! I would like to showcase some of the items requested with increasing frequency as the semester begins. We have some new titles and some that would be helpful if you’re looking for a guide. Most of these are intended for college […]

Behind the Scenes: An Interview with NLS Narrator Julian Thompson

Continuing our series of interviews with narrators from NLS’s own studio, I got a chance to sit down and talk with narrator Julian Thompson. Recently, Julian has recorded the liner notes for one of our Smithsonian Folkways books, Richmond Blues (DBM 03642). In addition, he has also narrated a number of books about music and musicians in […]

NLS Materials for Early Music Education

Tomorrow we celebrate the birthday of one of the Twentieth Century’s most well-known composers and music pedagogues, Carl Orff (1895-1982). Although Orff may be best known for his cantata Carmina Burana, he is also quite well-known in the music education field because of “Orff Schulwerk,” an elementary approach to music he co-developed with his colleague Gunild […]