Music

Throughout the project, Beethoven’s genius loomed.

How Artificial Intelligence Completed Beethoven's Unfinished Tenth Symphony

On October 9, the work will be performed in Bonn, Germany, and a recording will be released

The 39-foot-long violin is made out of around 12 different kinds of wood.

Why a String Quartet Set Sail on a Giant Violin in Venice's Grand Canal

Local artist Livio De Marchi views the wooden replica as a symbol of the Italian city's rebirth following Covid-19

Breakup albums take listeners through the stages of a breakup much like the stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

The Heart-Wrenching History of the Breakup Album

From Joni Mitchell's 'Blue' to Olivia Rodrigo's 'Sour,' love and loss has an ever evolving soundtrack

A flag in New York City's Times Square marks MTV's 40th birthday.

At 40, MTV Is Officially Over the Hill

Born in 1981, the network soon grew to include reality TV and the VMAs. But nothing compares to its glory days of 24/7 music videos

Buildings in New Orleans' historic French Quarter, pictured here, sustained damage when Hurricane Ida made landfall on Sunday.

Hurricane Ida Destroys New Orleans Jazz Landmark Dubbed Louis Armstrong's 'Second Home'

The historic Karnofsky Tailor Shop and Residence collapsed on Sunday after water pooled on its roof

The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip Hop and Rap tracks the evolution of the genre from its music to its culture and to its people. "Everything that is part of hip-hop," says the Smithsonian's Dwandalyn Reece, curator of music and performing arts.

Chronicling Hip-Hop's 45-Year Ascendance as a Musical, Cultural and Social Phenom

The groundbreaking box set "Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap" features 129 tracks, liner notes and an illustrated 300-page compendium

The worn hands and nubby fingernails of Bentonia, Mississippi, bluesman Jimmy "Duck" Holmes reflect his years of experience. Holmes is one of the last bluesmen who play a style known as Bentonia blues.

At an Old Juke Joint in Mississippi, the Blues Are Alive

Jimmy Holmes is the last in a line of music legends as he seeks to keep a singular American art form thriving

The choir performs at the ruins of a mill in Sweetwater Creek State Park in Douglas County, Georgia

Smithsonian Voices

Hear a Georgia Choral Group as They Rediscover the Art of Sacred Harp Singing

Students find lasting resonance in the words and simple notes of the 1869 hymn 'How Can I Keep from Singing?'

The Ifesowapo dùndún ensemble performing in Igbo Ora, southwest Nigeria

How Does the West African Talking Drum Accurately Mimic Human Speech?

A new study explores how the dùndún replicates tones and patterns of the Yorùbá language

B.B. King is among the performers featured in the documentary Summer of Soul.

The Story Behind the Harlem Cultural Festival Featured in 'Summer of Soul'

Jesse Jackson, Nina Simone, B.B. King and 100,000 spectators gathered for a concert worth remembering

An eight-foot-wide model of the intact monument was placed in an acoustics-testing chamber. Researchers found that sounds emanating from near the center reverberated within the structure.

What Did Stonehenge Sound Like?

Researchers have developed a new understanding of what it meant to be a member of the inner circle

Here are 12 of the rarest doo-wop records ever made. “Can’t Help Loving That Girl of Mine” (1954) by Philadelphia’s 
Hide-A-Ways is, Shively says, the “holy grail of vocal group
collecting.”

A Peek Inside the World's Greatest Record Store

A lovable grouch, obsessed with the magic of American sidewalk harmony, runs the Philadelphia shop

The painting is one of 47 in the pop star's D Heads series.

Cool Finds

David Bowie Painting Purchased at Landfill for $4 Expected to Fetch Thousands

The rock star created the semi-abstract portrait—up for auction through June 24—in 1997

Adult male from grave 76a in Yuzhniy Oleniy Ostrov, drawn as if alive during a dance session, with 140 elk teeth on his chest, waist, pelvis and thighs

Cool Finds

Stone Age People Donned Elk-Tooth Ornaments During Spirited Dance Sessions

Thousand of animal incisors discovered at an 8,000-year-old Russian cemetery may have been valued for their role in keeping a beat

At the foot of North Idaho's Bitterroot Mountains sits Wallace, an incredibly resilient, Old West mining town.

The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021

From Alabama's music capital to the self-proclaimed 'center of the universe,' these American towns are calling your name

"What’s Going On" was a turning point for Marvin Gaye.

Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' Is as Relevant Today as It Was in 1971

Fifty years ago, the artist released Motown's best-selling album ever and changed the course of his musical career

"Beckoning: A Playlist of AAPI Joy, Sorrow, Rage and Resistance" is an eclectic mix of heartwarming tunes, instrumentals and pointed social commentary from such veterans as Yoko Ono and Brothers Cazimero as well as emerging artists like Audrey Nuna and G Yamazawa.

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Calls Upon Its Community to Share the Power of Music

As an antidote for these times, 43 songs honoring joy, sorrow, rage and resistance

Covid-19 patients during their weekly vocal lessons as part of ENO Breathe.

Covid-19

How Opera Singing Is Helping Long-Haul Covid-19 Patients Recover

Developed in the United Kingdom, ENO Breathe is a virtual program that rehabilitates patients through the art of song

Photograph for a Coca-Cola ad featuring Selena, 1994, by Al Rendon.

Smithsonian Voices

How Do We Remember Selena?

On the anniversary of her 50th birthday, honoring the legacy of the first Tejana singer to top the U.S. Billboard charts with her Spanish-language album

Researchers took cross sectional scans of a spider web with a laser to make this 3D image of its structure that they eventually translated into music.

Art Meets Science

Researchers Turn Spider Webs Into Music

The eerie compositions offer humans an approximation of how spiders experience their surroundings through vibrations

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