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NLS Music Magazine Roundup!

The following is a guest blog post by new Music Reader Services librarian Lindsay Conway.

Did you know that the National Library Service offers subscriptions to music magazines, free of charge to NLS patrons? The NLS Music Section produces Musical Mainstream, Contemporary Soundtrack, and Popular Music Lead Sheets. NLS also offers free subscriptions to five additional music magazines in accessible formats. Below is information about all the music magazines NLS currently offers and how to subscribe. A full listing of magazines available through NLS and other organizations is available on the NLS website.

Some of these magazines are available for digital download from NLS through the Braille and Audio Reading Download service, or BARD. Find information about accessing BARD on the NLS website.

Image showing the cover of large print edition of Musical Mainstream. Cover features music notes emanating from pages of a book.

Contemporary Soundtrack: A Review of Pop, Jazz, Rock, and Country

Bimonthly audio magazine that features articles from national music magazines such as Billboard, Rolling Stone, Guitar World, and Jazziz. Recent issues include articles about Fats Domino, Tom Petty, Sam Smith, Billy Flynn, and Don Henley, among others. Available on BARD or on digital cartridge.

Musical Mainstream

Quarterly magazine in audio, large print, and braille that reprints articles from national magazines about classical music, music criticism, and music teaching. Recent issues include record reviews from Gramophone and articles that mark the birthdays of Enrique Granados and Ella Fitzgerald. Musical Mainstream also lists books recently added to the NLS music collection. Available as digital audio (cartridge), digital audio download (BARD), e-braille (BARD), large print, and press braille.

Popular Music Lead Sheets

Each quarterly braille lead sheet provides the melody, lyrics, and chords to five popular songs, from golden oldies to recent hits. Past issues are available to browse either alphabetically by song title or sequentially by issue number. Available as e-braille (BARD) or press braille.

Quarterly Music Magazine

Subscription offers a different music magazine in recorded audio each quarter, covering a variety of aspects and types of music, such as opera, jazz, and country, and instruments such as guitar and keyboard. Recent magazine issues include International Piano, American Songwriter, and Gramophone. Available as digital audio (cartridge) or digital audio download (BARD).

Rolling Stone

Provides music, video, movie, and electronics reviews that chronicle American popular culture in the arts and entertainment industry. Twenty-four issues per year are available as digital audio (cartridge), digital audio download (BARD), e-braille (BARD), and press braille.

Sound & Vision: Where Technology Becomes Entertainment

Reports on new sound equipment and album reviews, with emphasis on popular music. Ten issues per year are available as digital audio (cartridge) or digital audio download (BARD).

Braille Music Magazine

Monthly magazine with articles about classical music for professional and amateur musicians as well as reviews of new braille music publications. NLS offers this magazine in press braille but it is also available in digital braille from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (UK).

Piano Technicians Journal

The official publication of the Piano Technicians Guild provides information on the piano industry’s latest innovations, products, and technologies. Available on BARD or digital cartridge.

How to Subscribe for Mail Delivery

To receive magazines that the NLS Music Section produces (Musical Mainstream, Contemporary Soundtrack, or Popular Music Lead Sheets) through the mail, contact the NLS Music Section by e-mail at [email protected] or phone at 1-800-424-8567, extension 2.

If you would like to subscribe to receive any of the other music magazines listed above through the mail, contact the NLS network library that serves your state.

How to Subscribe on BARD

To download titles that are available on BARD, log in to your BARD account and select the magazine title and format in the section called Find Magazines and Other Materials.

An earlier version of this blog post listed “Braille Music Magazine” as a quarterly publication instead of monthly. The blog post has been updated with the correct issue information.

American Composers from A-Z (Part 2: Copland, Aaron)

In our last blogpost we introduced blind musician Francis Joseph Campbell. Today’s entry is about one of the most famous American composers who had close connections to the Library of Congress: Aaron Copland. Aaron Copland was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 14, 1900. He studied music from an early age and received formal […]

New BARD additions: December- January

The Music Section has been very busy over the past month adding new and newly digitized music materials to BARD. From Mozart, to bluegrass, to method books for alto and bass flute, there is a little bit of something here for everyone! If you have any questions on how to use BARD or to obtain […]

American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: C, Part 1-Francis Joseph Campbell

The NLS Music Section is part of a national network of cooperating libraries.  With that in mind, we are in touch with the network when they have patrons who are interested in the materials provided by our section, and there is a nice spirit of cooperation between the network and our offices here in the […]

Veterans Day and Armistice Day – Composers in World War I

This blog takes a look at composers who were affected by World War I and the music that they composed.

Celebrating that “Parisienne Gaiety”

When I was a teenager, I began learning about classical music by listening to radio programs in the evening. Often the shows would begin with an overture or “light classic”, such as the Light Cavalry Overture (which our school band played), or the William Tell Overture (the “Lone Ranger” to me). There was also a […]

The Music and Sounds of the Vietnam Era

Like many other Americans, I have been tuning in to the documentary The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick this past week. This 10-part series depicts the grim realities of the Vietnam War at home and abroad, and the soundtrack of the movie transports one back to the late 1960s quite perfectly. With […]

We Just Keep Adding…to BARD!

One of the fun and interesting parts of working at the NLS Music Section is being able to upload files to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download). Our patrons are always checking to see what is new in the “Recently Added” link, and we frequently remind them that not all the NLS Music Section collection is […]

American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: A (Part 1)

The following is a guest blog post from the new section head of the NLS Music Section, Juliette Appold. Have you ever thought about listing classical and contemporary composers by their last names from A to Z? How about identifying American composers from A to Z? And how about filling the alphabet with names of […]