Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

Elise Kirk

A lyrical history of the American presidency and people, this is the story of a show that goes on. Elise Kirk traces the story of more than 200 years of musical performance in the White House to present the tale of the American process of music-making-how music in a democracy has been absorbed, shaped, transformed, and perceived from the period of George Washington to early in the Donald J. Trump administration. Whether dramatic or abstract, vernacular or cultivated, music can mold the political process and shape a historic event in a manner like no other. The new edition of Music at the White House was the winner of the 2017 USA Book News Awards, Performing Arts Category.

Music at the White House: From the 18th to the 21st Centuries

A guest post by Elise Kirk, author of Music at the White House