{ subscribe_url:'/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/nls-music-notes.php' }

Learning about Ayres

It was time to proofread something that had just been scanned. So, with left hand on the hardcopy, and right hand on the braille display, I read: “Fugue in E, Op. 12, by Frederic…“Chopin,” my mind filled in quickly, but when did Chopin ever write a fugue? I moved my hands: “Frederic Ayres.”

Over the next few weeks I proofread several other works by this composer I’d never heard of. Colleagues in the Music Section found an article about him, even a few recordings of his songs. Only when I read about him on BARD did I notice that most of the pieces by him were brailled in 2018! Was someone else discovering Ayres, too?

Ayres was an American composer born on March 17, 1876 in Binghamton, New York, and died on November 23, 1926. According to William Treat Upton, in The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 1 (January, 1932): “Ayres vied with Beethoven in the meticulous care with which he wrote and re-wrote his compositions.” Each work represents “the matured judgment of the man at that particular time.”

The Library of Congress holds several published editions available for view online.

To download braille scores, you may go to BARD, and discover for yourself:

Fugue in E Major, Op. 12, No. 1 (BRM36583)

Moonlight, Op. 12, No. 2 (BRM36604); also available in large print (LPM00861)

Mother Goose Melodies: Eight Jingles Set to Music with Piano Accompaniment, Op. 7 (BRM36607)

The Open Road: A brilliant intermezzo for the Pianoforte, Op. 11 (BRM36596)

Sunset Wings, Op. 8 (BRM36605): a song based on a poem by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Violin and Piano
Sonata No. 2 in B Minor: piano part and violin part (BRM36582)

New BARD Additions: September 2018

It’s the last week of September, and time to list some recent braille music acquisitions. You may call to request hard copies, or you may download them from the BARD site. Sorry, no recordings this week, but we hope there will be some very soon. Cello  Brahms, Johannes. Sonata No. 1, Op. 38 (BRM07814) Choral […]

American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: G (Part 1 – Gershwin, George)

This week, we will take a look at American composer George Gershwin. George Gershwin was one of the first American composers to use both popular and classical idioms. Years before his most famous compositions were penned, he worked on Tin Pan Alley as a song plugger—that is, someone who was hired to play and promote […]

New BARD Additions: August 2018

The hot and hazy dog days of summer are here, but the NLS Music Section has been working diligently to provide digital music books and scores for our patrons to access instantly. Take a look at the audiobooks and braille scores we have made available on NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) during the […]

Happy Birthday Samuel Coleridge-Taylor!

British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was born on August 15th in 1875. One of the more popular composers in England and the United States during the turn of the 20th century, he composed many works for choir, piano, and larger instrumental ensembles; however, his works are seldom performed today. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was born in London to […]

New BARD Additions: July 2018

Read this blog and discover new materials, recorded and braille, now available from the NLS Music Section. Audio Materials All of the following are productions of Bill Brown. Banjo American Pie.  Teaches this Don McLean song without the use of music notation.  (DBM03915) Piano Bless the Broken Road. Teaches how to play “Bless the Broken […]

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 […]

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 […]