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Internet Resources in Music

Freely available websites that cover a wide range of musical interests

Research Collections

The Aaron Copeland Collection: Ca. 1900 - 1990 (American Memory Project, U.S. Library of Congress)

Includes approximately 400,000 items documenting the multifaceted life of the composer, performer, teacher, writer, conductor, commentator, and administrator. It comprises both manuscript and printed music, personal and business correspondence, diaries, writings, scrapbooks, programs, newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, awards, books, sound recordings, and motion pictures. The first release of the online collection contains approximately 1,000 items that yield a total of about 5,000 images. These items date from 1899 to 1981, with most from the 1920s through the 1950s, and were selected from Copland's music sketches, correspondence, writings, and photographs.

African American Sheet Music, 1850 - 1920 (American Memory Project, U.S. Library of Congress)

Consists of 1,305 pieces of African-American sheet music. Includes many songs from the antebellum black face minstrelsy in the 1850s and from the abolitionist movement of the same period. Civil War period music includes songs about African-American soldiers and the plight of the newly emancipated slave. Post-Civil War music reflects the problems of Reconstruction and the beginnings of urbanization and the northern migration of African Americans. African-American popular composers include James Bland, Ernest Hogan, Bob Cole, James Reese Europe, and Will Marion Cook. Twentieth century titles feature many photographs of African-American musical performers, often in costume. From the collections of Brown University.

Band Music from the Civil War Era (American Memory Project, U.S. Library of Congress)

Includes both printed and manuscript music (mostly in the form of "part books" for individual instruments) selected from the collections of the Music Division of the Library of Congress and the Walter Dignam Collection of the Manchester Historic Association (Manchester, New Hampshire). The collection features over 700 musical compositions, as well as 8 full-score modern editions and 19 recorded examples of brass band music in performance. Search by keyword or browse the indexes of authors, subjects, and titles.

California Gold - Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties (American Folklife Center, Library of Congress)

The WPA California Folk Music Project is a multi-format ethnographic field collection that includes sound recordings, still photographs, drawings, and written documents 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. This undertaking was one of the earliest ethnographic field projects to document European, Slavic, Middle Eastern, and English- and Spanish-language folk music in one region of the United States.

Charles H. Templeton Sheet Music Collection (Mississippi State University Libraries)

The collection consists of some 22,000 pieces of sheet music from late nineteenth and early twentieth century America. It includes a wide selection of popular music including rags, show tunes, movie tunes, minstrel melodies, patriotic tunes of World War I, and much more. The Web site also features links to other collections of sheet music.

Hispano Music & Culture of the Northern Rio Grande: The Juan B. Rael Collection (American Folklife Center, Library of Congress)

A multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting religious and secular music of Spanish-speaking residents of rural Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado recorded in 1940 by Juan Bautista Rael of Stanford University to document alabados (hymns), folk drama, wedding songs, and dance tunes. In addition to these recordings, the collection includes manuscript materials and publications authored by Rael which provide insight into the rich musical heritage and cultural traditions of this region.

Historic American Sheet Music (The Historic American Sheet Music Project, The Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University )

The Historic American Sheet Music Project provides access to digital images of 3042 pieces from the collection, published in the United States between 1850 and 1920.The Historic American Sheet Music Timeline features a selection of representative pieces for each decade between 1850 and 1920. Also included is a chronology of major events in politics & government, international affairs, companies, inventions, exploration, humanities, publications, and sports.

The Leonard Bernstein Collection ca. 1920 - 1989. (Music Division, Library of Congress)

This collection makes available more than 400,000 items, including music and literary manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, audio and video recordings, fan mail, and other types of materials that document Bernstein's life and career. Includes a selection of 85 photographs, 177 scripts from the Young People's Concerts, 74 scripts from the Thursday Evening Previews, and over 1,100 pieces of correspondence, in addition to the collection's complete Finding Aid.

The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music (Johns Hopkins University)

Comprises more than 29,000 pieces of popular American music from the period 1780 to 1960. The site also includes a biography of Lester S. Levy and a brief histroy of the collection.

Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1870 - 1885 (American Memory Project, U.S. Library of Congress)

Search by keyword or browse the indexes of authors, subjects, and titles. 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.

Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, ca. 1820 - 1860 (American Memory Project, U.S. Library of Congress)

Search by keyword or browse the indexes of authors, subjects, and titles. About 15,000 pieces of sheet music covering popular songs, operatic arias, piano music, sacred and secular vocal music, solo instrumental music, method books and instructional materials, and some music for band and orchestra.

Music of the American Civil War, April 1861 - May 1865 (Benjamin Robert Tubb)

MIDI files are based on The Civil War Songbook: Complete Original Sheet Music for 37 Songs, selected and with an Introduction by Richard Crawford, published by Dover Publications in 1977.

Nineteenth-Century California Sheet Music (Prof. Mary Kay Duggan, University of California, Berkeley)

"A virtual library of some 2000 pieces of sheet music published in California between 1852 and 1900, together with related materials such as a San Francisco publisher's catalog of 1872, programs, songsheets, advertisements, and photographs."

Now What a Time: Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938-1943 (Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center, U.S. Library of Congress)

Consists of approximately 100 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. Also included are recordings made in Tennessee and Alabama (including 6 Sacred Harp songs) by John Work between September 1938 and 1941.

Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz - The William P. Gottlieb Collection (American Memory Project, U.S. Library of Congress)

Comprises over sixteen hundred photographs of celebrated jazz artists, documents the jazz scene from 1938 to 1948, primarily in New York City and Washington, D.C. During the course of his career as a writer-photographer, Gottlieb took portraits of prominent jazz musicians and personalities, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Hines, Thelonious Monk, Stan Kenton, Ray McKinley, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Ella Fitzgerald, and Benny Carter. This online collection presents Gottlieb's photographs, annotated contact prints, selected published prints, and related articles from Down Beat magazine.

William Grant Still Collection - Exhibit and Guide to the Collections (Special Collections Library, Duke University)

The collection includes various papers (photocopied) and recordings, which primarily document Stills's work as a composer. An index of letters by Boyd E. Gibson and a list of works are provided, as well as a discography by Gary R. Boye, a bibliography, and links to related Web sites.