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Erin go bragh! Irish Music from the NLS Music Section

Although St. Patrick’s Day may remind you of tin whistles, bodhráns, bagpipes (even though bagpipes are, strictly speaking, Scottish–the Irish musical tradition uses Uilleann pipes), or some other such traditional Irish instrument, one may neglect to think of the Celtic harp. The Celtic Harp and O’Carolan The harp is ubiquitous to most musical cultures, but […]

A Tale of Two Resources: The Text-only Online Catalog and BARD

This post was co-written with John Hanson. This post addresses what we have heard are occasional problems or misunderstandings of our online resources, what they are, and how to access and/or download wanted scores and books. Catalogs The Text-only version of our catalog (accessible as the second link at //nlscatalog.loc.gov), is the only complete and […]

From Beginners to Virtuosi: Violin Music in the NLS Collection

Since Arcangelo Corelli’s 362nd birthday was just celebrated two days ago, I thought it a perfect time to talk about some of our violin music. Here at the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) Music Section, many of our patrons are pianists and vocalists, but many also play other instruments, including […]

NLS Music Section Hits the Road–Performing Outreach

I have always considered the NLS Music Section’s home base in Washington D.C. as a very fine perk of my job. There are numerous opportunities for concerts with great venues such as Kennedy Center, the Strathmore, our own home at the Library of Congress and (according to me) the jewel in the crown of museums, […]

Braille Graphic Scores

If you had ever been a music student, then you have no doubt come across the Norton Anthology of Western Music. This tome compiles the standard repertoire of Western art music presented in history, theory, and performance classes, and describes the music with historical notes and other contextual information. For some time, the Music Section […]

“I Sent That Back a Few Days Ago” or, the Perils of Free Matter for the Blind and Shipping and Receiving for the NLS Music Section

Many times our patrons practically inhale some of the titles we send them, they are so anxious to learn about a composer, opera, or the latest lesson for their guitar or piano. They have plenty of time; the established borrowing period is for three months, and should they need it longer, they can renew it […]

Gifts: Not Always a Seasonal Event

That’s right, it’s December, and no doubt you’re all busy with your holiday shopping and making a list of naughty and nice. As with many libraries, the NLS Music Section is no different than others when it comes to receiving gifts.  Frequently, braille music patrons, and sometimes other institutions will contact us and ask if […]

Some Splendid Saint-Saëns Selections

Today we celebrate the 179th birthday of Camille Saint-Saëns, a famous French composer, most well-known for his works The Carnival of the Animals, Danse macabre, Samson and Delilah, and a number of other pieces. Saint-Saëns began his musical studies at the incredible age of three, while he was living with his mother and aunt in […]