Collection The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America

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  • 1950 to Present - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    1950 to Present - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Song...

    Cultural and historical events from 1950 to present related to American song.

    • Date: 1950
  • Spirituals - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Spirituals - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of ...

    A spiritual is a type of religious folksong that is most closely associated with the enslavement of African people in the American South. The songs proliferated in the last few decades of the eighteenth century leading up to the abolishment of legalized slavery in the 1860s. The African American spiritual (also called the Negro Spiritual) constitutes one of the largest and most significant forms ...

  • Traditional and Ethnic - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Traditional and Ethnic - The Library of Congress Celebrates t...

    Traditional songs, often called "folk songs," are learned informally, within the context of family, tribe, community, or another close-knit group. Many traditional songs have been sung within the same family or ethnic and regional communities for generations, and as in the case of American traditional songs, can sometimes be traced back to such places of origin as Great Britain, Europe, or Africa and other ...

  • Curator Talks - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Curator Talks - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs ...

    The curators of the collections at the Library of Congress give more information about the history of song in the United States in these brief "Curator Talk" videos with the help of illustrations and audio clips.

    • Date: 1759
  • Mapping the Songs of America - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Mapping the Songs of America - The Library of Congress Celebr...

    Select any state on this map to find items pertaining to it. These may include songs about a state, songs written or recorded in a state, or songs composed by an artist associated with that state. Results can include sheet music, recordings, videos, and more.

  • Songs of Sports and Leisure - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Songs of Sports and Leisure - The Library of Congress Celebra...

    American popular song emerged in the same era that American leisure culture began to develop, and sports such as baseball and football began to take on their present, distinctly American forms. As transportation improved, professional entertainers and traveling shows and circuses became regular visitors throughout the country. Transportation itself also became a form of recreation. Playlist for Sports and Leisure Five recordings from Library ...

  • Printable Timeline - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Printable Timeline - The Library of Congress Celebrates the S...

    1950 Songs of America Elinor Remick Warren writes "God Be In My Heart." Aaron Copland's first set of Old American Songs includes settings of "The Boatmen's Dance," "The Dodger," "Long Time Ago," "Simple Gifts," and "I Bought Me A Cat." Seeger Family Concert. Mike, Peggy, and Pete Seeger with the Short Sisters, recorded at the Library of Congress, March 16, 2007 [webcast]. Culture Gian ...

  • Printable Timeline - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Printable Timeline - The Library of Congress Celebrates the S...

    1850 Songs of America Stephen Foster composes 'The Voice of Bygone Days', 'Molly, Do You Love Me?', and 'Ah! May the Red Rose Live Alway!' 'Go Down Moses,' a spiritual sung by the Tuskegee Institute Singers, 1914. Harriet Tubman reported using this song to identify herself to slaves that might want to escape and flee north with her by singing it in a neighboring ...

  • Historical Topics - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Historical Topics - The Library of Congress Celebrates the So...

    The history of America is reflected through its songs. Read more about how immigration and migration; work and industry; social change; war and conflict; politics and political campaigns; and sports and leisure in the United States have been portrayed in song. Listen to examples for all.

    • Date: 1581
  • Popular Songs of the Day - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Popular Songs of the Day - The Library of Congress Celebrates...

    "Popular songs" can be broadly defined as songs that are at least intended to reach a broad audience via some form of commercial distribution, such as broadsides, sheet music, song collections, touring musicians or musical production and from the 1890s on, commercial recordings. Being made to travel, popular music is most likely to represent a broad range of influences, including ones from folk, church ...

    • Date: 1581
  • Traditional Ballads - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Traditional Ballads - The Library of Congress Celebrates the ...

    Introduction Traditional ballads are narrative folksongs - simply put, they are folksongs that tell stories. They tell all kinds of stories, including histories, legends, fairy tales, animal fables, jokes, and tales of outlaws and star-crossed lovers. ("Ballad" is a term also used in the recording industry for slow, romantic songs, but these should not be confused with traditional or folk ballads.) Many traditional ballads ...

  • About this Collection - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    About this Collection - The Library of Congress Celebrates th...

    See and Hear American History Through Song "Know the songs of a country and you will know its history for the true feeling of a people speaks through what they sing." – Preface to The Songs of Henry Clay Work (1884) Listen to the changes in the "Star Spangled Banner" as played by different bands in different eras. Look at the ways in which ...

    • Date: 1581
  • Opera - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Opera - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of Ameri...

    Since its grand beginnings as Italian court entertainment at the turn of the seventeenth century, opera has been an art form that strives to portray a heightened reality, transporting the audience to a time and place beyond its own. Opera is a seemingly magical concoction of theater, music, and dance that has ignited the imaginations of young and old, rich and poor, for over ...

  • Songs of Unionization, Labor Strikes, and Child Labor

    Songs of Unionization, Labor Strikes, and Child Labor

    This article is about songs of unionization, labor strikes, and child labor. Songs of children who had to work instead of going to school tell a particularly poignant story about migrant labor. A song beginning "Yo cuando era niño -- mi padre querido," sung by Jose Suarez, was composed by the singer about his childhood picking cotton with his father in Texas. "The Cotton ...

  • Printable Timeline - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Printable Timeline - The Library of Congress Celebrates the S...

    1900 Songs of America Amy Marcy Cheney Beach sets to music Three Browning Songs, including "Ah, Love, But a Day and "The Year's at the Spring." John Rosamond Johnson writes the anthem "Lift Every Voice and Sing" to lyrics by James Weldon Johnson. The King Family performs the traditional dance song "Cripple Creek" on string band instruments: banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, and bass fiddle. ...

  • Ritual and Worship - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Ritual and Worship - The Library of Congress Celebrates the S...

    Sacred music has been a vibrant part of American culture from the earliest sacred oral traditions of indigenous peoples through the written traditions of the first European colonists. With the settlement of the Plymouth, Massachusetts colony in 1620, sacred music played an important role in helping to define the cultural identity of the region of the New World that would become the United States. ...

  • Tim Tingle & D.J. Battiest-Tomasi Choctaw music and storytelling

    Tim Tingle & D.J. Battiest-Tomasi Choctaw music and storytelling

    videorecording | videorecording: 62 min | Forms part of the D. J. Battiest-Tomasi and Tim Tingle Concert Collection. (Source). Recorded at the Library of Congress. (Venue). Recorded June 29, 2011. (Date). Videorecording (Form).

    • Contributor: Battiest Tomasi, D. J. - Tingle, Tim
    • Original Format: Film, Video
  • War and Conflict - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    War and Conflict - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Son...

    War has played no small part in the history of American song. Some of the nation's oldest folk and pop songs celebrate important victories, the experiences of soldiers and sailors, or the loss of loved ones. Playlist for War and Conflict Five recordings from Library of Congress collections describe the business of conflict in a human way. The Waltz must change to a march, ...

  • Children's Songs - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Children's Songs - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Son...

    Children's songs may include songs that adults sing or teach to children, songs children pass along to each other, and songs that children compose themselves. These distinctions are not always clear cut, however, as adults may teach children songs that they learned from other children in childhood, and children may pass along songs learned from adults to other children. Playlist Five recordings from Library ...

  • 1759 to 1799 - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    1759 to 1799 - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs o...

    Cultural and historical events from 1759 to 1799 related to American song.

    • Date: 1759
  • Songs of Work and Industry - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Songs of Work and Industry - The Library of Congress Celebrat...

    During the 400 years of the settlement, territorial expansion, migration, industrialization and urbanization of what would come to be known as the United States, the nature of making a living and the technological and economic factors on which it rested changed profoundly. In colonial North America the economy was overwhelmingly agricultural with farmers producing much of what they needed for themselves and their communities. ...

  • Shape Note Singing - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Shape Note Singing - The Library of Congress Celebrates the S...

    Nineteenth century American song books that used notes in different shapes to aid singers and teach singing came to be known as "shape-note hymnals" and the style of singing from these "shape-note singing." Christian hymnals using this system were among the most enduring uses of this notation. Among the most popular was The Sacred Harp by B. F. White, first published in Georgia in ...

  • Parlor and Concert Stage - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Parlor and Concert Stage - The Library of Congress Celebrates...

    Music performance in the United States takes place both at home and on the concert stage. Music written for each of these venues has been of equal importance to the development of American music. The performance of secular music in the United States developed, just as it had many centuries earlier in Europe, along two parallel paths. First, musical gatherings in the private homes ...

  • Ragtime - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Ragtime - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of Ame...

    Ragtime, a uniquely American, syncopated musical phenomenon, has been a strong presence in musical composition, entertainment, and scholarship for over a century. It emerged in its published form during the mid-1890s and quickly spread across the continent via published compositions. By the early 1900s ragtime flooded the music publishing industry. The popularity and demand for ragtime also boosted sale of pianos and greatly swelled ...

  • Printable Timeline - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Printable Timeline - The Library of Congress Celebrates the S...

    1759 Songs of America Francis Hopkinson (1737-1791) sets to music Doctor Parnell's 'My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free' – America's earliest surviving secular composition. Culture Voltaire (1694-1778) writes his satirical masterpiece Candide My days have been so wondrous free [manuscript] 1760 In the News George III becomes King of England. 1761 Songs of America 'Young Johnny,' sung by Winifred Bundy. Recorded by Helene ...

  • Bluegrass - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Bluegrass - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of A...

    Bluegrass music is a tradition-based modern style of string band music. Typically a bluegrass band consists of four to seven performers who sing while accompanying themselves on acoustic string instruments such as the guitar, double bass, fiddle, five-string banjo, mandolin, steel guitar, and Dobro. Bluegrass combines elements of old-time mountain music, square dance fiddling, blues, gospel, jazz, and popular music. Like jazz, bluegrass allows ...

  • African American Gospel - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    African American Gospel - The Library of Congress Celebrates ...

    African American Gospel music is a form of euphoric, rhythmic, spiritual music rooted in the solo and responsive church singing of the African American South. Its development coincided with -- and is germane to -- the development of rhythm and blues. Playlist Five recordings from Library of Congress collections Oh, Jonah! Performed by the Golden Jubilee Quartet. Recorded by Willis James, 1943. We are ...

  • Rhythm and Blues - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Rhythm and Blues - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Son...

    The term "rhythm and blues," often called "R&B," originated in the 1940s when it replaced "race music" as a general marketing term for all African American music, though it usually referred only to secular, not religious music. The term first appeared in commercial recording in 1948, when RCA Victor records began using "blues and rhythm" music as a descriptor for African American secular songs. ...

  • Rockabilly - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Rockabilly - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of ...

    Rockabilly music arose after World War II and is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll. Mixtures of country music with swing and boogie woogie styles preceded it in the 1940s. As early as the 1930s, Western swing artists such as Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys and Milton Brown and his Musical Brownies freely mixed Black and white styles of music. ...

  • Blues - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Blues - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of Ameri...

    "The blues" is a secular African-American musical genre that has had broad influence in popular music. Blues songs deal with a variety of topics and emotions, though it is often mistakenly thought that they deal almost exclusively with sorrow and protest. Playlist Recordings from the The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip. Shorty George (1939) Performed by Smith Casey, guitar. In ...

  • Articles About Songs - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Articles About Songs - The Library of Congress Celebrates the...

    Original essays and articles are available on this site to help provide historical context and a deeper view for those who wish to learn more about particular topics. The Library's curators have written articles on historical topics and song, musical styles, individual songs, and songs of various ethnic groups in America.

    • Date: 1759
  • Western and Cowboy Songs - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Western and Cowboy Songs - The Library of Congress Celebrates...

    Although it is often spoken of in the same breath as "Country" music, "Western" is a distinct area of American popular music whose roots reach into the frontier era of the 19th century. Playlist Five recordings from Library of Congress collections Starving to death on a government claim A pioneer song sung by folklorist Vance Randolph, who learned it in Kansas in his youth. ...

  • Biographies - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Biographies - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of...

    Short biographies are available for some of the many composers, lyricists, performers, conductors, field collectors, and folklorists who have played a part in the history of American songs.

    • Date: 1759
  • Art Song - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Art Song - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of Am...

    I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear; ... Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs. -- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855) Playlist Five recordings from Library of Congress collections My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free The Francis Hopkinson composotion as performed on the Favorites from the Song of America Tour with Thomas Hampson, baritone, and Wolfram Rieger, piano. Recorded ...

  • Timeline - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Timeline - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of Am...

    Explore the relationship between cultural and historical events to American song on this timeline.

    • Date: 1759
  • Hip Hop/Rap - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Hip Hop/Rap - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of...

    In the 1970s and 1980s, the emergence of hip-hop in the African-American communities of cities like New York, Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles, took longstanding African-American musical traditions in new directions. The style was generally known as "rap" in its early days, and this term is still interchangeable with "hip-hop" when discussing the genre broadly. Hip-hop artists like the Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash, NWA, ...

  • 1850 to 1899 - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    1850 to 1899 - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs o...

    Cultural and historical events from 1850 to 1899 related to American song.

    • Date: 1850
  • Rock - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Rock - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of Americ...

    The term "Rock and Roll" was applied to several related forms of music broadly popular with youth starting in the mid-1950s. Some styles were already well established with certain audiences, or used musical devices that had been around for some time, but in the mid-1950s, they achieved national popularity, and soon became the driving forces in much of popular music. Playlist Recordings from Library ...

  • Musicals - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Musicals - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of Am...

    The Musical, like jazz, is a quintessentially American art form; and like our country, it has been forged from many influences: comic opera, operetta, English music hall, minstrel shows, vaudeville and others. Musicals are also among the most collaborative of the arts, forged by teams that typically include composers, lyricists, librettists, directors, performers, choreographers, orchestrators, producers, arrangers and designers. Playlist Five recordings from Library ...

  • Mapping the Songs of the Civil War - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Mapping the Songs of the Civil War - The Library of Congress ...

    Select the highlighted states on this map to view a selection of sheet music pertaining to people, places, or events associated with that state during the Civil War. This can include songs about military figures, battles and campaigns, regiments, and other state-related events or sentiments.

  • About this Collection - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    About this Collection - The Library of Congress Celebrates th...

    See and Hear American History Through Song "Know the songs of a country and you will know its history for the true feeling of a people speaks through what they sing." – Preface to The Songs of Henry Clay Work (1884) Listen to the changes in the "Star Spangled Banner" as played by different bands in different eras. Look at the ways in which ...

    • Date: 1581
  • Interactive Maps - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Interactive Maps - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Son...

    See the connection between America's geography and song through interactive maps that offer songs from the states and about the states.

    • Date: 1581
  • Articles and Essays - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Articles and Essays - The Library of Congress Celebrates the ...

    Loc.gov Congress.gov Copyright.gov Menu ☰ Discover Catalogs & Finding Aids Search the Library's catalog records. Formats Audio Recordings Books Films, Videos Legislation Manuscripts/Mixed Material Maps Notated Music Newspapers Periodicals Personal Narratives Photos, Prints, Drawings Software,

  • Search results from The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America
  • Songs of Immigration and Migration - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Songs of Immigration and Migration - The Library of Congress ...

    As Europeans colonized North America, beginning with the Spanish and French in the 1500s and the British and Dutch in the early 1600s, colonists brought their cultural entertainments along with them. Songs brought to colonial America continued to be sung in their early forms, so that later scholars of songs and ballads, such as the British ethnomusicologist Cecil Sharp and American ballad scholar Francis ...

  • Traditional Work Songs - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Traditional Work Songs - The Library of Congress Celebrates t...

    In traditional cultures around the world, work is often accompanied by song. Americans have developed work songs for many occupations, from agricultural jobs like picking cotton, to industrial ones, like driving railroad spikes. Iconic American figures such as cowboys had their work songs, as did sailors, whose songs kept work going smoothly on tall ships throughout the age of sail. Playlist Five recordings from ...

  • Country - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Country - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of Ame...

    Country music encompasses everything from fiddler Eck Robertson to the arena-pop of Taylor Swift. The origins of country music can be traced to the 17th century, when European and African immigrants to North America brought their folktales, folk songs, favorite instruments, and musical traditions. Country music has seen various developments since the first commercial recordings, but whatever form it takes, country music speaks to ...

  • Musical Styles - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Musical Styles - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs...

    In its history, America's songs have been performed in many musical styles. Learn more about how these musical styles developed and listen to examples.

  • Illustrated Sound Recordings - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Illustrated Sound Recordings - The Library of Congress Celebr...

    Performances of song and concerts from the Library of Congress are available on this site as well as interviews with performers and composers.

    • Date: 1759
  • Printable Timeline - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Printable Timeline - The Library of Congress Celebrates the S...

    1800 Songs of America James Hewitt (1770-1827) composes 'The Wounded Hussar.' Hon'hewachi Song from the Blue Spot ceremony, sung by a group of Omaha men and women. Recorded by Francis La Flesche, September, 1895. The purpose of the ceremony was to honor a female relative of a society member. La Flesche wrote that this song was composed by Old Blackbird of the White Horse ...

  • Songs of Social Change - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Songs of Social Change - The Library of Congress Celebrates t...

    Americans from the colonial period to the present day have often practiced their right to freedom of speech through song. American songs have called attention to social causes, both criticized and advocated governmental social policies, and provided a means of personal complaint on social issues. Songs are easily carried, demand attention, convey emotion, and can be performed in many contexts, with or without instrumentation, ...

  • Songs of Politics and Political Campaigns - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Songs of Politics and Political Campaigns - The Library of Co...

    Elections provide opportunities for advocates of policies for social change and those favoring social stability to advocate their particular cause. Campaign songs and songs of political parties can help to spread particular points of view and build solidarity around candidates and platforms. Playlist for Politics and Political Campaigns Five recordings from Library of Congress collections explore patriotism and other political issues. National airs of ...

  • 1900 to 1949 - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    1900 to 1949 - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs o...

    Cultural and historical events from 1900 to 1949 related to American song.

    • Date: 1900
  • Jazz - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Jazz - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of Americ...

    Like the term jazz itself, a precise definition of jazz song is elusive. One way to think about it is that a jazz song is anything sung by a jazz singer, since the term 'jazz' usually refers to a style of performance rather than to a method of composition. A jazz song might have lyrics, but not necessarily. It might be a vocalese performance, ...

  • 1800 to 1849 - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    1800 to 1849 - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs o...

    Cultural and historical events from 1800 to 1849 related to American song.

    • Date: 1800
  • Minstrel Songs - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Collections

    Minstrel Songs - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs...

    Blackface minstrelsy, which derived its name from the white performers who blackened their faces with burnt cork, was a form of entertainment that reached its peak in the mid-nineteenth century. Using caricatures of African Americans in song, dance, tall tales, and stand-up comedy, minstrelsy was immensely popular with white audiences. These caricatures usually featured the uncultured, parochial, happy-go-lucky southern plantation slave (Jim Crow) in ...