Articles and Essays

  • Historical Topics 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.
  • Musical Styles 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.
  • Interactive Maps See the connection between America's geography and song through interactive maps that offer songs from the states and about the states.
  • Timeline Explore the relationship between cultural and historical events to American song on this timeline.
  • Articles About Songs 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.
  • Biographies 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.
  • Illustrated Sound Recordings Performances of song and concerts from the Library of Congress are available on this site as well as interviews with performers and composers.
  • Curator Talks 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.