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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

Quarterly 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.

There’s No Song Like an Old Song

I’m always reminding myself how fortunate I am to live in an area that offers not only great classical music, theater and dance performances, but many popular music performers make a stop, especially during the summer. Being a child of the sixties, rock and roll concerts usually meant performances in smoky nightclubs (missed out on […]

Over the Rainbow, and More: Part 2

This is a continuation of my survey of songs recently added to the LOC’s National Recording Registry, indicating where they may be found in the NLS music collection. (Note that Over the Rainbow was covered in last week’s blog.) Puttin’ on the Ritz Harry Richmond’s 1929 recording of this Irving Berlin song was added to […]

Finding Jimi and Django

In a recent NLS Music Notes blog post, “The Festival That Changed American Music,” I read about rock stars such as Jimi Hendrix who performed at the first Monterey festival in 1967.  Because of the recordings listed there, and my own experience of the NLS collections, I assumed that anything we have on Hendrix would be in audio format. So […]

Stevie Wonder, Braille, and Accessibility

A couple of weeks ago, one of my colleagues here at NLS, David Fernandez-Barrial, asked me if I had seen the Grammy award ceremony (which took place Monday, February 15, 2016). I had to admit I hadn’t; I was, uh, practicing my Hindemith songs. Well, it turns out that Stevie Wonder, one of the presenters at […]

Happy Birthday Nino Rota

Although motion pictures are, for all intents and purposes, a visual art form, one can still appreciate the music from those films on their own without the movie-going experience. For this I am grateful, as, being more drawn to music than film (and having limited spare time to catch all the movies that I’d like […]

So You’d Like to Be a Pop Superstar?

Guitar, bass, vocals, drums, piano…the makings of any good pop record, right? For our patrons out there who are looking to rock out to some pop music, we’ve got you covered. In a post from last September, my colleague Mary Dell Jenkins discussed our series of “Popular Music Lead Sheets,” which offers popular music selections […]

We’re Not Always About Long-Haired Music; an Introduction to Popular Music Lead Sheets

When you say the word music, people usually agree that they like it. In fact, I’ve never heard anyone say anything else; and if they didn’t like music, that would be a sad day for me.  But, music covers a lot of territory, and people have their reasons for liking or identifying with what appeals to […]