Musical History

Volunteers from the John Cage Organ Foundation conducting an earlier chord change in October 2013

This Organ Is Playing a 639-Year-Long Song. It Just Changed Chords for the First Time in Two Years

The instrument has been playing composer John Cage's "ASLSP" since 2001—and it's scheduled to conclude in 2640

The 1898 silent film Something Good‑Negro Kiss is often described as the earliest known on-screen depiction of Black intimacy. 

See Long-Lost Artifacts From Early Black Cinema

Now open in Detroit, "Regeneration: Black Cinema, 1898–1971" showcases nearly 200 rare props, posters, photographs and more

The new street sign in Paris' 13th arrondissement

You Can Now Walk Down 'Rue David Bowie' in Paris

The city's 13th arrondissement honored the British musical legend on what would have been his 77th birthday

Luna Luna's creator, André Heller, stands on a merry-go-round designed by Keith Haring in June 1987.

When Keith Haring, Salvador Dalí and Jean-Michel Basquiat Created an Art Amusement Park

A resurrected version of Luna Luna, a fairground started by artist André Heller in 1987, opens in Los Angeles later this month

Musicians at Auschwitz played as part of as many as six orchestras sanctioned by the SS, as well as in secret. A new project by Leo Geyer restores some of the music they composed while imprisoned.

Restored Music Composed by Prisoners at Auschwitz Played Publicly for the First Time

Leo Geyer’s “The Orchestras of Auschwitz” weaves remnants of musical scores written by those at the camp into a piece honoring the Holocaust’s victims

Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro, a new film that arrives on Netflix on December 20

The Real History Behind Leonard Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre's Marriage in 'Maestro'

The Bradley Cooper-led film is a dramatization of the storied composer and conductor's complex love life

Eric Clapton's guitar, called the "Fool," features a bright, psychedelic design.

You Can Own Guitars Played by Eric Clapton and Kurt Cobain

Both instruments are expected to sell for between $1 million and $2 million at auction next month

Sofia Liñares in a promotional photo for Black Sabbath: The Ballet, the Birmingham Royal Ballet's new show honoring the city's legendary heavy metal band

New Ballet Takes on Black Sabbath, the Genre-Defining Heavy Metal Band

“Black Sabbath: The Ballet” honors the legendary band that formed in Birmingham, England

Primary image: Sleeping Quarters, by Czech Jewish prisoner Bedřich Fritta, depicts gruesome conditions. After the SS discovered Fritta’s work, they detained him and sent him to Auschwitz, where he died. Background (detail): A musical score by Viktor Ullmann, which was created at Terezin.

Amid the Horrors of the Holocaust, Jewish Musicians Composed Songs of Survival

At the Terezin concentration camp, some of Europe's top artists found solace in creating new work. Today one musician is determined to give them an encore

Taylor Swift performs during the Eras Tour at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, on August 7. 

Swifties Can Now Study Literature (Taylor's Version)

At a Belgian university, Taylor Swift fans can expect intertextual analysis beyond their wildest dreams

The Glimmer Twins, created by sculptor Amy Goodman

Statues of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards Unveiled in the Duo's Hometown

The Rolling Stones bandmates both grew up in Dartford, Kent, where they met as teenagers

Musicians Cindy Campbell and DJ Kool Herc take center stage in a 2013 celebration of the 40th anniversary of hip-hop. The brother and sister duo threw a "Back-to School Jam" in August, 1973 and launched a lasting music genre.

How Hip-Hop Was Born 50 Years Ago in a Block Party in the Bronx

Arising out of New York's close-knit Black communities, the genre revolutionized the music industry and gave rise to a new generation of sounds and stars

Tupac Shakur designed the gold, ruby and diamond crown ring, which recently sold at auction for a little over $1 million.

Drake Buys the Most Valuable Hip-Hop Artifact Ever Sold: Tupac Shakur's Ring

Shakur designed the piece himself and wore it during his last public appearance before his death in 1996

Paul Kaufmann inherited several of what are thought to be fragments of Ludwig van Beethoven's skull, which he has donated to the Medical University of Austria.

Skull Fragments Thought to Be Beethoven's Return to Vienna

The composer asked that, following his death, his physician study the illnesses that plagued him during his life

Tony Bennett painting in June 1971

Tony Bennett's Passion for Art Lives On in His Paintings

Smithsonian curators reflect on the beloved crooner's legacy as a musician and visual artist

L to R: Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen pose on a tour bus in 1978.

Why Did Van Halen Demand Concert Venues Remove Brown M&M's From the Menu?

An investigation of the rock band's unusual concert rider suggests the stipulation was a savvy marketing move

Desiree Perez, Roc Nation's CEO, walks through "The Book of HOV" with Jay-Z.

In the 'Heart of the City,' a Tribute to Jay-Z

The Brooklyn Public Library is celebrating the rapper’s life and career in a new exhibition, "The Book of HOV"

John Mayer, Sammy Hagar and Bob Weir perform with Dead & Company in San Francisco in 2016

Will the Dead Stay Dead After Sunday's Farewell Concert?

Once again, Deadheads said their goodbyes to the latest iteration of the era-defining jam band

Inside Pennsylvania's State Capitol building, lawmakers are working on efforts to adopt a new official state song.

Pennsylvanians Might Soon Be Singing a New State Song

The state's official tune simply can't compete with the likes of "Georgia on My Mind," lawmakers argue

The historic railway is the highest in America.

You Can Now Take a Sunrise Train Ride to the Top of Pikes Peak

See the panoramic vistas from atop the 14,000-foot mountain that inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write "America the Beautiful"

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