Songs

Scientists are turning scientific date, like DNA sequences, into sound.

Why Scientists Are Turning Molecules Into Music

Converting DNA sequences and particle vibrations into notes allows researchers to recognize unseen patterns and create songs for outreach

Kalush Orchestra smashed records in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. 

Good News

A Ukrainian Band Just Won the World's Most Popular Song Competition

Kalush Orchestra’s “Stefania” is a tribute to the frontman’s mother—and the group’s embattled motherland

Singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn was applauded—and sometimes banned—for her daring songs about women's lives. 

Country Legend Loretta Lynn Braved Controversy to Tell the Truth About Women's Experiences

On her 90th birthday, the self-taught singer-songwriter is donating personal items to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

What a male song sparrow sings in each moment is dependent on what he sang 30 minutes ago and suggests that the birds don't have a 'bird brain,' but incredible memory and recall capacities.
 

To Impress Lady Birds, Male Sparrows Sing Their Songs on Shuffle

The singers will memorize a 30-minute playlist and remix the order later to avoid losing their lover's attention

Numerous books, films and other works first published in 1926 enter the public domain on January 1.

Winnie-the-Pooh, an Ernest Hemingway Classic and a Massive Library of Sound Recordings Will Enter the Public Domain on January 1

Works newly available to copy, republish and remix in 2022 also include poems by Langston Hughes and Dorothy Parker

An intercontinental ballistic missile takes flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in 2002. In 1962, the United States would confront the Soviet Union on its missile stockpiles in Cuba, edging the two nations to the brink of nuclear war.

History of Now

'Do You Hear What I Hear?' Conjures Images of Peace Everywhere—and Nuclear Annihilation

Composed at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the classic Christmas song contains another message—one of unity

Swift's extended version of "All Too Well" surpassed the length of the previous record holder, Don McLean's 8-minute, 42-second "American Pie (Parts I and II)."

Trending Today

Taylor Swift Sets Record for Longest No. 1 Song, Beating Out 'American Pie' and the Beatles

The pop star's 10-minute, 13-second rerecording of "All Too Well" debuted at the top spot in Billboard's Hot 100 chart

Unique trills, calls, chirps, gurgling, and whistles are crucial components in nature's soundscapes. (Pictured: Male Indigo Bunting)

 

Spring Soundscapes Are Changing as Bird Populations Continue to Decline

More than 200,000 sites across North America and Europe have become quieter in the past two decades as biodiversity and population numbers dwindle

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?'

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

A pygmy blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda) crosses the Indian Ocean and passes near Mirissa, Sri Lanka.

Using Nuclear Bomb Detectors, Scientists Overhear the Secret Songs of a Never-Before-Seen Pygmy Blue Whale Population

The new group is named 'Chagos' after the islands close to where the melodies were detected

"The Grave of Bonaparte" sheet music, song and music by L. Heath, as performed by the Hutchinson Family Singers, Boston, 1843. "The Grave of Bonaparte," recalling the French leader who vanquished much of Europe before being defeated, reflected the Hutchinson Family Singers' concern for the cause of freedom abroad as well as at home.

Smithsonian Voices

How the Arts Have Inspired Social Change

Americans have a long tradition of inspiring and elevating movements for change using benefit concerts, song and other artistic traditions

Barbara Dane with the Chambers Brothers at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.

Smithsonian Voices

Meet Barbara Dane and Her Proud Tradition of Singing Truth to Power

From Mississippi Freedom Schools, to free speech rallies at UC Berkeley, and in the coffeehouses, her protest music took her everywhere

Fin whale songs are some of the loudest animals in the ocean, producing calls that can reach 189 decibels and are almost as loud as container ships.

New Research

Researchers Use Whale Calls to Probe Undersea Geology

The study finds that fin whale songs are powerful enough to reverberate through the Earth’s crust, allowing scientists to study its thickness and structure

The group’s identification also highlights how much of ocean life—even when it comes to the largest sea creatures—has yet to be discovered.

Scientists Eavesdrop on New Population of Blue Whales Singing in the Indian Ocean

Scientists have identified a previously unknown blue whale song, suggesting that a distinct population had long gone undetected

"The lines of this song repay me in elation, almost of exquisite anguish, whenever I hear them sung," wrote James Weldon Johnson in 1935.

Why the Black National Anthem Is Lifting Every Voice to Sing

Scholars agree the song, endowed with its deep history of black pride, speaks to the universal human condition

A typist wearing her influenza mask in 1918 New York.

How the 1918 Pandemic Got Meme-ified in Jokes, Songs and Poems

In newspapers across the country, the public dealt with the heartache of the moment by turning to humor

Trixie Friganza, noted feminist, suffragist and inspiration for "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"

Women Who Shaped History

The Feminist History of ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’

Trixie Friganza, an actress and suffragist, inspired the popular song of the seventh inning stretch

Stream the free concert on YouTube tonight at 8 p.m. EST.

Virtual Travel

How to Watch the National Air and Space Museum's Free Virtual Concert

Catch the musical event, featuring Sting, Death Cab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard and other artists, on YouTube tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern time

Dolphin Boy Bands Sing 'Pop' Songs in Sync—and the Ladies Want It That Way

Female dolphins, it seems, aren’t immune to the allure of a harmonizing boy band

loading icon