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  • Collection

    The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America

    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 ...

    • Date: 1581

    View 98,769 Items

  • Collection

    Franz Liszt at the Library of Congress

    In order to commemorate the bicentenary of Hungarian composer and pianist Franz Liszt's birth (2011), as well as to bring attention to the Library of Congress's substantial holdings of primary source material related to this composer, this presentation is offered as a portal to facilitate the exploration of the Library's rich resources for performing research on Liszt's life and career. Several items pertaining ...

    View 20 Items

  • Collection

    The March King: John Philip Sousa

    Painting of Sousa during US Marine Band era, [n.d.]. Performing Arts Reading Room. An online presentation of selected music manuscripts, photographs, printed music, historical recordings of the Sousa Band, copies of programs and press clippings, and more from the Sousa Collection at the Library of Congress. About the John Philip Sousa Collection at the ...

    • Contributor: Sousa, John Philip
    • Date: 1854

    View 714 Items

  • Collection


    Ragtime, a uniquely American, syncopated musical phenomenon, has been a strong presence in musical composition, entertainment, and scholarship for over a century. See, hear, explore and learn!

    • Date: 1890

    View 187 Items

  • Collection

    Music Treasures Consortium

    "Um mitternacht" by Franz Schubert. [manuscript score]. Music Division, Library of Congress. About the Music Treasures Consortium The Music Treasures Consortium provides online access to the world's most valued music manuscripts and print materials, held at the most renowned music archives, in order to further research and scholarship. The Music Treasures Consortium is ...

    View 619 Items

  • Collection

    Amazing Grace

    This collection highlights the history of the hymn “Amazing Grace” from the earliest printing of the song to selected performances of it on published and field recordings. These items have been collected from several divisions in the Library of Congress, including the Music Division, the American Folklife Center, the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, and the Rare Books Division. Also available here ...

    • Date: 1930

    View 52 Items

  • Collection

    Home Sweet Home: Life in Nineteenth-Century Ohio

    Before the age of radio, television, and other electronic diversions, families made their own entertainment in the home by playing games, reading aloud, performing plays, and, of course, by making music. Children were taught to play the piano and sing from an early age and sheet music was widely available and inexpensive. The whole family participated in the music-making. In this presentation, we focus ...

    • Date: 1800

    View 42 Items

  • Collection

    Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, ca. 1870-1885

    Consists of over 47,000 pieces of sheet music registered for copyright during the years 1870 to 1885. Included are popular songs, piano music, sacred and secular choral music, solo instrumental music, method books and instructional materials, and music for band and orchestra. In 1870 the United States Congress established the Library of Congress as the sole agency for copyright registration and deposit. The law ...

    • Date: 1870

    View 47,009 Items

  • Collection

    African-American Band Music & Recordings, 1883-1923

    The core of this presentation consists of "stock" arrangements for bands or small orchestras of popular songs written by African Americans. In addition, we offer a smaller selection of historic sound recordings illustrating these songs and many others by the same composers (the arrangements might not necessarily be the same as those on the stocks). Educational materials include short biographies of composers and performers ...

    • Date: 1883

    View 359 Items

  • Collection

    Samuel Barber at the Library of Congress

    The Library of Congress is the preeminent repository for manuscripts by American composer Samuel Barber (1910-1981), one of the most frequently performed and recorded American composers of the twentieth century. Numerous music manuscripts and printed scores by Barber, as well as correspondence, videos, and sound recordings of his works can be found throughout the library’s collections. Many of his music manuscripts, letters, and performances ...

    View 48 Items

  • Collection

    Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection

    Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection presents traditional fiddle tunes performed by Henry Reed of Glen Lyn, Virginia. Recorded by folklorist Alan Jabbour in 1966-67, when Reed was over eighty years old, the tunes represent the music and evoke the history and spirit of Virginia's Appalachian frontier. Many of the tunes have passed back into circulation during the fiddling revival ...

    • Contributor: Glenroy, William - Reed, Henry - Reed, Gene - Reed, Watha - Jabbour, Alan - Ricci, Glenn - American Folklife Center
    • Date: 2000

    View 292 Items

  • Collection

    The Gerry Mulligan Collection

    [Portrait of Gerry Mulligan, ca. 1980s] by William P. Gottlieb. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. As a saxophonist, composer, arranger and band leader, Gerry Mulligan (1927-1996) is a jazz legend. The Library of Congress serves as the repository for the Gerry Mulligan Collection, which it obtained in the late 1990s. In this ...

    • Contributor: Mulligan, Gerry - Boras, Tom - Brookmeyer, Bob - Cohn, Al. - Dankworth, John - Forman, Mitchel - Grusin, Dave - Handy, George - Holman, Bill - Lee, Julian - Mandel, Johnny - McFarland, Gary
    • Date: 1940

    View 149 Items

  • Collection

    The Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Collection

    Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine in London American actor, singer and comedian Danny Kaye arrives with his wife, Sylvia Fine, for an appearance in London. November 1948. Following the professional lives of the husband-wife artistic duo, this presentation features a wide variety of materials, including manuscripts, scores, scripts, photographs, sound recordings and video clips ...

    • Contributor: Kaye, Danny - Fine, Sylvia - Halsman, Philippe - McDowall, Roddy - Dena Pictures, Inc - Kaye (danny)/Fine (sylvia) Collection (library of Congress)
    • Date: 1918

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  • Collection

    Transit of Venus March

    Transit of Venus The Library of Congress joins with NASA in celebrating the second "transit of Venus" since December 6, 1882, by providing access to the score and band parts of John Philip Sousa's "Transit of Venus March." In addition to the score and parts, which can be printed directly from this Web site, we ...

    • Contributor: Sousa, John Philip
    • Date: 1769

    View 11 Items

  • Collection

    Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody

    With its roots in Ancient Egyptian music, Coptic Christian chant is one of the oldest liturgical genres still performed today. Drawing on the Ragheb Moftah Collection, this presentation explores some of the earliest music transcriptions by explorers, missionaries, and scholars in Egypt, highlighting Moftah's efforts to notate, record, and preserve all Coptic Orthodox hymns. Learn more about current scholarship and what is happening in ...

    • Contributor: Wilson, Marian Robertson - Moftah, Raghe
    • Date: 2005

    View 366 Items

  • Collection

    Patriotic Melodies

    Patriotic Melodies tells the stories behind many of the songs that have now become part of the American national heritage. A combination of hymns, national songs, music of the theater, radio and television, military themes, and poetry, all of this music demonstrates that while over history many things have changed, this expression of pride and hope remain a constant part of the American experience. ...

    • Date: 1900

    View 175 Items