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Blind James Campbell and His Nashville Washboard Band

“Tennessee, Tennessee, there ain’t no place I’d rather be”–This is the song that we have been singing for the past several weeks here in the Music Section of the National Library Service (along with Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter in their song “Tennessee Jed”).  The NLS national conference in Nashville has now come and gone, […]

A Blast of Brass!

Last year we discussed method books available from the NLS Music collection for most band and orchestra instruments. We’ve even done some posts on specific instruments, like saxophone and violin. Today, though, I decided to focus a post specifically on brass instruments. “Why brass?” you ask. Well for one, brass instruments are near and dear […]

New BARD Additions: June 2018

Welcome to the newest additions of music materials on BARD. Audio Materials Amazing Grace. For late beginner. Bill Brown teaches how to play the late beginner version of “Amazing Grace” on the piano without the use of music notation. (DBM03901) Chattanooga Choo Choo. Bill Brown teaches how to play the Glenn Miller Orchestra’s 1940s classic […]

American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: E (Part 2 – Eyck, Jacob van)

This week we’ll break with our series a bit to discuss the life of a blind musician from outside of the United States. Had someone mentioned a composer named van Eyck to me when I was a child, I might have guessed that he was born before or during World War II. When I heard […]

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 […]