A Digital Museum

Even in the digital age, music of the past decades and centuries continues to live as more people have better opportunities to discover music right at their fingertips. The digital world also allows the creation of projects and organizations in collecting and promoting music from all eras and locations. Spanning local to international, classical music to bluegrass, these Websites will give viewers a broad taste of importance and creativity.

For Choral Tastes

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Operated by the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), ChoralNet is a networking site for choral music enthusiasts. Several tabs are available that feature multiple forums, which includes legal discussions, rehearsals, and vocal pedagogy, and communities, which allow users to interact with people in particular regions or with certain interests. The resources area provides links to other pertinent Websites that will help researchers and fans alike, and the announcements section keeps viewers updated with the latest concerts, print publications, workshops, and recordings.

by Jeff Boyce

The Bluegrass Museum

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Bluegrass music remains one of the singular and important American musical styles, a roots-based music with influences ranging from English folk, American country, and African American jazz and blues. It gained popularity by the 1940s and has since remained a vital part of the musical fabric. The International Bluegrass Music Museum, located in Owensboro, Kentucky, honors the important trailblazers that brought this music to national and international attention. Exhibits & Collections, Bluegrass In The Schools, Radio Bluegrass International, and Sister Festivals are pro-active organizations that promote the music, but perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Museum is the Video Oral History Project, which films important bluegrass artists for preservation and research purposes.

by Jeff Boyce

A Cappella Galore

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The Barbershop Harmony Society is one of the organizations that celebrates barbershop music, an a cappella musical form from the 19th century. Barbershop singing reached a commercial apex in the early 20th century through huge-selling artists such as The Haydn Quartet, and The American Quartet, and in the 1940s, a revival occurred with organizations such as The Barbershop Harmony Quartet created to celebrate the music. Background history of the organization, a list of its affiliates, educational information, and singing tools and concerts will enrich visitors with knowledge of this music that served as a precursor to doo-wop music. A grand achievement is the Old Songs Library of 750,000 sheet music pieces, which remains one of the largest musical collections in the world.

by Jeff Boyce

Western Classical Music History 102

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From the Middle Ages to present times, ipl2, a public service organization equipped with educational resources on a variety of topics, provides easy navigation for the evolution of Western classical music. Each period is prefaced with a general summary, and even when one clicks on the link for detailed information, the breakdown remains easy to read. Key composers and musical aspects are highlighted. Recommended for all ages wanting to learn the basics of Western classical composers. 

by Jeff Boyce

Lone Star Artists

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So many great artists come from Texas including Johnny Mathis, Scott Joplin, George Jones, Charlie Christian, Janis Joplin, Buddy Holly, and Victoria Spivey. The Texas Music Museum, founded in 1984, is dedicated to collecting oral histories, photos, and other historical material of the state’s rich musical legacy. The exhibit gallery is categorized by notable musical genres such as blues, country music, and tejano & conjunto, and Songs of the Lone Star State displays some of the state’s most famous songs. The museum houses thousands of recordings and coordinates with various Texas music organizations in maintaining this music.

by Jeff Boyce

Conserving American Musical History

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The Natural Museum of American History’s Music & Musical Instruments segment has collected more than 5,000 instruments of American and European heritage, ranging from Dizzy Gillespie’s Silver Flair trumpet to Prince’s Yellow Cloud guitar. Synthesizers, jukeboxes, clothing, sheet music, recordings, photographs, and other archival material adorn the Website, which is outstanding in its scope and appreciation.

by Jeff Boyce

Music for the Folks

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The Music & Musical Instruments feature of the world-respected Smithsonian Institute spotlights classic instruments such as the piano and violin to pioneering recording artists such as Celia Cruz and Duke Ellington. But the centerpiece is the stellar Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, which is a non-profit record label that supports traditional artists from around the globe.

by Jeff Boyce