Musical History

DropReg, President of the East Bay Chevs group, in his ride during a video shoot in downtown Oakland.

New Exhibition in Oakland Traces the History of Hip-Hop

“RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom” celebrates the 45th anniversary of hip-hop culture

The Temptations

Library of Congress Adds ‘The Sound of Music,’ ‘My Girl’ to National Recording Registry

Each year since 2002, 25 recordings that impacted American culture are chosen for inclusion in the growing database. Read about the class of 2017

Brown’s portable instrument, 40 inches high by 50 inches wide, had a signature flourish: silver trim.

The Electric Organ That Gave James Brown His Unstoppable Energy

What was it about the Hammond organ that made the 'Godfather of Soul' say please, please, please?

Flash mob in Chicago

Latest IMAX Film Studies History of American Music

Air and Space Museum makes way for the Flying Elvi

What the First Radio Commercial Jingle Sounded Like

Wheaties was one of the first companies to recognize the enormous potential of radio as an advertising tool

Cover art for sheet music from the original Tabasco opera, 1894.

Long-Forgotten Opera About Tabasco Sauce Heats Up Stage Again After Almost 125 Years

Thanks to some musical sleuthing, George W. Chadwick's ode to the now ubiquitous hot sauce brand has been revitalized by the New Orleans Opera


How Graffiti Artists Used iPhones and Paint to Transform the Beatles’ Ashram

Miles Toland describes how he captured Indian street scenes on his phone and recreated them as giant murals that same day

Drummers in Benin

Big Data Traces the World's Most Distinctive Musical Traditions

An analysis of 8,200 recordings from 137 nations shows nations in sub-Saharan Africa have the most unique rhythms and melodies

A Timeline of 1968: The Year That Shattered America

The nation is still reckoning with the changes that came in that fateful year

John Lennon chats with Mike Love (far right, in dark blue) as the Beatles sit for a photo with Maharishi and other course participants.

The Ashram Where the Beatles Sought Enlightenment

Beach Boys singer Mike Love recalls what it was like to be at the Indian locale, which remains a destination for fans of music and meditation

Mónico Márquez plays a Hohner button accordion with Venezuelan band Mestros del Joropo Oriental at the 2009 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

The Remarkable Rebirth of the Button Accordion

Musician Gilberto Reyes redesigned the instrument to meet the needs of Latino musicians

Arlo Guthrie

A Brief History of “Alice’s Restaurant”

The Arlo Guthrie classic starts off retelling the true story of what happened more than 50 years ago

Elmar Juchem, Managing Editor of the Kurt Weill Edition, was able to identify Kurt Weill's manuscript while doing archival work in Berlin.

Composer Kurt Weill's Long-Forgotten “Song of the White Cheese" Discovered in Berlin Archive

Listen to the 1931 ditty, which had gone unnoticed in the collection of a little-known actress

The Abbey Road crosswalk, which has been moved slightly since 1969, in modern times.

A Short History of the Crosswalk

Pedestrian crosswalks and roads have a complicated relationship

The Boston Public Library Is Digitizing 200,000 Vintage Recordings

With the help of the Internet Archive, the recordings from the Sound Archives Collection will one day be available for free streaming and download

The box set will include a 300-page companion volume featuring never-before-seen photographs, scholarly commentary and rigorous liner notes.

This Ambitious Landmark Hip-Hop and Rap Anthology Was Successfully Funded

Smithsonian's nonprofit record label launched a Kickstarter for help and got it

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