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Music - Online Resources: Digital Audio Collections from the Library of Congress American Memory Collections

Online resources that may be used for music performance and research.
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Digital Audio Collections from the Library of Congress American Memory Collections

The American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920

 

The American Variety Stage is a multimedia anthology selected from various Library of Congress holdings.  This collection illustrates the vibrant and diverse forms of popular entertainment, especially vaudeville, that thrived from 1870-1920. Click here to browse the sound recordings by title.

 

California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties

 

California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties includes sound recordings from a variety of European ethnic and English- and Spanish-speaking communities in Northern California. The collection comprises 35 hours of folk music recorded in twelve languages representing numerous ethnic groups and 185 musicians.  Click here to browse the sound collection by title.

 

Captain Pearl R. Nye: Life on the Ohio and Erie Canal

 

Captain Pearl R. Nye: Life on the Ohio and Erie Canal captures the culture and music of the men, women, and children who worked and lived along the Ohio and Erie Canal. The site contains recordings of 75 songs, sung by Nye. The recordings were made by John, Alan, and Elizabeth Lomax, and Ivan Walton between June 1937 and September 1938. Click here to browse the audio files.

 

Emile Berliner and the Birth of the Recording Industry

 

Emile Berliner and the Birth of the Recording Industry is a selection of 108 Berliner sound recordings from the Library of Congress's Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.  Berliner (1851-1929), an immigrant and a largely self-educated man, was responsible for the development of the microphone and the flat recording disc and gramophone player.   The collection spans the years 1870 to 1956.  Click here to browse the recordings.

 

Florida Folk life from the WPA Collections

 

Florida Folk life from the WPA Collections is a multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting African-American, Arabic, Bahamian, British-American, Cuban, Greek, Italian, Minorcan, Seminole, and Slavic cultures throughout Florida.  It features folksongs and folktales in many languages, including blues and work songs from menhaden fishing boats, railroad gangs, and turpentine camps; children’s songs, dance music, and religious music of many cultures.  The site provides access to 376 sound recordings.  Click here to browse the audio collection by title.

 

Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection

 

Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection is a multi-format ethnographic field collection of 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.  Click here to browse the collection by recording session.

 

Hispano Music and Culture of the Northern Rio Grande: The Juan B. Rael Collection

 

Hispano Music and Culture of the Northern Rio Grande: The Juan B. Rael Collection is an online presentation of a multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting religious and secular music of Spanish-speaking residents of rural Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado.   The recordings were made in Alamosa, Manassa, and Antonito, Colorado, and in Cerro and Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico.  Click here to browse the collection by title.

 

Inventing Entertainment: The Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies

 

Inventing Entertainment features 81 Edison disc sound recordings, searchable by keyword, title, and subject.  In future cylinder sound recordings will be added to the site.  Click here to browse the audio collection by title.

 

The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip

 

The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip is a multi-format ethnographic field collection that includes nearly 700 sound recordings.  The recordings represent a broad spectrum of traditional musical styles, including ballads, blues, children's songs, cowboy songs, fiddle tunes, field hollers, lullabies, play-party songs, religious dramas, spirituals, and work songs.  Click here to browse the audio collection by title.

 

Now What a Time: Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938-1943

 

Now What a Time: Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938-1943 collection consists of approximately one hundred sound recordings, primarily blues and gospel songs, and related documentation from the folk festival at Fort Valley State College (now Fort Valley State University), Fort Valley, Georgia.  Click here to browse the collection by title.

 

Omaha Indian Music

 

Omaha Indian Music features traditional Omaha music from the 1890s and 1980s. The multi-format ethnographic field collection contains 55 wax cylinder recordings collected by Francis La Flesche and Alice Cunningham Fletcher between 1895 and 1897.  Click here to browse the audio collection.

 

Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection

 

Voices from the Dust Bowl is an online presentation of a multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting the everyday life of residents of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941.  Click here to browse audio collection by title.

 

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