Music

General view of the audience and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Education During Coronavirus

After Closure, the Met Opera Offers Free Streaming of Past Performances

Each night, the institution will post an encore showing of an opera from its "Met Live in HD" series

The National Museum of China in Beijing is one of many institutions upping its online offerings in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

China's Art, From Museum Exhibits to Rock Concerts, Moves Online During Coronavirus Outbreak

The government has directed museums to "enrich the people's spiritual and cultural life during the epidemic [with] cloud exhibitions"

The six CD set Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings won a Grammy in the category for Best Historical Album. The set includes some well-known, not-so-well-known, and previously unreleased recordings spanning Seeger’s career.

Grammy Nod to Folkways’ Pete Seeger Collection Is a Fitting Tribute

The producers aim to inspire future generations to carry on the singer’s legacy

Prince performs at Minneapolis’ First Avenue nightclub in August 1983.

Why Prince Would Not Sound Like Prince Without Minneapolis

A human geographer explains how the city's unique sonic culture nurtured and inspired the musical genius

The Most Anticipated Museum Openings of 2020

Slated for this year are new institutions dedicated to ancient Egyptian, the Olympics, African American music and the Army

Composer and pianist George Gershwin, whose 1924 composition "Rhapsody in Blue" entered the public domain on January 1, 2020

Start of 2020 Ushers Thousands of Once-Copyrighted Works Into the Public Domain

After 95 years of exclusivity, these films, books and compositions are now free for use by everyone

The 1979 "Christmas Rappin'" was "so witty" says rapper Kurtis Blow (above in 2016 at the Art of Rap festival in Los Angeles). "I welcomed the opportunity to do it.”

Hitting the High Notes: A Smithsonian Year of Music

Every Year Just 'Bout This Time, Kurtis Blow Celebrates With a Rhyme

In a 40-year salute to "Christmas Rappin,'" hip-hop chronicler Bill Adler tells the tale of how the famous rap recording came to life

An Evening With Ben Folds and 21 Other Smithsonian Associates Events in December

Via Getty: "A group of young women in traditional costumes play Galician music with bagpipes, tambourines and drum in the historic center during the San Froilan festivities on October 6, 2019 in Lugo, Galicia, Spain."

Scientists Show Humans May Share a 'Musical Grammar'

Across 60 cultures, songs sung in similar social contexts have shared musical features

American Ingenuity Awards

How Lil Nas X and 'Old Town Road' Defy Categorization

The self-taught 20-year-old musician galloped to global fame with his chart-topping song that fuses country and hip-hop together

The Inuit drum-dance group Pamyua will perform in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

Smithsonian Voices

New Music and Dance Fusions Kick Off Native American Heritage Month

The National Museum of the American Indian is webcasting many of these public programs live, then archiving them online

American jazz musicians Charlie Parker, on alto sax, and Thelonious Monk, on piano, perform at the Open Door Cafe, in New York City on September 14, 1953.

The Long Journey of Charlie Parker’s Saxophone

The newly acquired instrument, played by the father of bebop, is on view at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Thomas "Blind Tom" Wiggins (1849-1908), born blind and enslaved, was a musical prodigy who began performing as early as 6 years old.

Hitting the High Notes: A Smithsonian Year of Music

The Tragic Story of America’s First Black Music Star

Thomas Wiggins, an African-American musician marketed as ‘Blind Tom’, had a lucrative career—but saw none of the profits himself

A fan carries a copy of ‘Abbey Road’ as he traverses the infamous crosswalk that appears on the album’s cover.

How the Beatles Took Recording Technology to a New Level in 'Abbey Road'

An expert in sound recording details how the band deployed stereo and synthesizers to put a unique artistic stamp on this iconic album

Jessye Norman at L'Olympia on June 26, 2012.

World-Renowned Soprano Jessye Norman Dies at 74

The opera star, who championed diversity in the arts, was known for her singular voice and versatile range

Hauschka performed at the 35th Munich Filmfest on June 27, 2017, in Munich, Germany.

Hitting the High Notes: A Smithsonian Year of Music

How Composer John Cage Transformed the Piano—With the Help of Some Household Objects

With screws and bolts placed between its strings, the 'prepared piano' offers up a wide range of sounds

The mostly retired singer-Songwriter Paul Simon told financier and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein that a recent dream has prompted him to work on a new extended piece of music.

Paul Simon Has 50 Ways to Charm an Audience

As the 2019 recipient of the Smithsonian’s Great Americans Medal, the musician divulged he still has one more song to write

“All evidence suggests that this was the first cloud guitar ever built for Prince,” says John Troutman, curator of American music at the National Museum of American History.

Hitting the High Notes: A Smithsonian Year of Music

Here's the Guitar That Prince Revolutionized Music With in 'Purple Rain'

The artist gave the "cloud" guitar to the Smithsonian in 1993, but only now do we know it's the same instrument used in the iconic movie

When she learned to play the theremin, Dorit Chrysler was struck by its emotional expressiveness.

A Century Ago, This Eerie-Sounding Instrument Ushered in Electronic Music

Now, the theremin—a strange little invention that translates hand gestures into pitch and volume—could make a comeback

Found: A Hub Where Humpback Whales Share Their Songs

A new study has found that whales from diverse locations gather at the Kermadec Islands, where they seem to transmit unique ditties

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