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

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 […]

American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: D (Part 2 – Davis, “Blind” John and Dranes, Arizona)

Blind John Davis Blind John Davis was born in Mississippi in 1913, but moved to Chicago with his family at a young age.  He lost his sight shortly thereafter at age 9. He began to learn the piano as a teen, and later became a regular session musician for famous blues record producer Lester Melrose […]

Music City 101: NLS Heads to Nashville!

Last month country music legend Dolly Parton joined Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden in a presentation to celebrate the achievements of Parton’s book-gifting organization (video of the event available here). They announced that the Library of Congress Young Readers Center is partnering with Parton’s charity to provide a special series of story time events. […]

American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: D (Part 1 – Dello Joio, Norman)

Norman Dello Joio (born Nicodemo DeGioio) was born in New York City in January 1913. His father and grandfather had been church musicians, and Norman was set to follow their footsteps, as he became the organist and choir director at age 14. When he was 26, he received a scholarship to attend Julliard, where he […]

Immortal Swing: The Music of Glenn Miller

While thinking about a topic for this week’s blog post, I made a happy discovery: American bandleader and musician Glenn Miller shares a birthday with Frédéric Chopin! Although these two musicians come from very different places and eras, they do share another thing in common besides a birthday: memorable music. We’ll talk about Glenn Miller […]

EXTRA!!! Recent BARD Additions, Late January-February Edition

Here is a listing of the most recent BARD additions.  If you aren’t able to find something on this list for learning or entertainment, check back next month, or the next; something will come your way.  In the meantime, a tune many of us heard from a television comedy of the 60s, “Ballad of Gilligan’s […]

American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: C (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: B (Part 2 – Bischoff, John W.)

John Bischoff was an American composer and organist who worked at the First Congregational Church in Washington, D.C. from 1874 until his death in 1909. Blind since the age of two, Bischoff attended the Wisconsin School for the Blind and later studied singing and organ before moving to Washington, D.C. His obituary from the May […]