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Ballad: Topic Page
The anonymous folk ballad (or popular ballad), was composed to be sung. It was passed along orally from singer to singer, from generation to generation, and from one region to another.
Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection
Presents traditional fiddle tunes performed by Henry Reed of Glen Lyn, Virginia. Recorded by folklorist Alan Jabbour in 1966-67, when Reed was over eighty years old, the tunes represent the music and evoke the history and spirit of Virginia's Appalachian frontier.
Byzantine Chant: Topic Page
The name given to the Christian chant of the Greek-speaking Orthodox Church.
Hymn: Topic Page
Song of praise, devotion, or thanksgiving, especially of a religious character.
Motet: Topic Page
Name for the outstanding type of musical composition of the 13th cent. and for a different type that originated in the Renaissance.
Plainsong: Topic Page
Or plainchant, the unharmonized chant of the medieval Christian liturgies in Europe and the Middle East; usually synonymous with Gregorian chant, the liturgical music of the Roman Catholic Church.
Rondeau: Topic Page
French medieval lyric poem form of 10 or 13 lines with only two rhymes throughout, and with the opening words used twice as a refrain.
Troubadour: Topic Page
Poet-musician of Provence and southern France in the 12th-13th centuries. The troubadours originated a type of lyric poetry devoted to themes of courtly love and the idealization of women and to glorifying the chivalric ideals of the period.
The March King: John Philip Sousa
John Philip Sousa, born and educated in Washington, D.C. was a conductor, composer, and arranger. Already famous, he was appointed in 1880 as leader of the U. S. Marine Band and held this position for 12 years. Sousa resigned from the Marine Corps in 1892 to form his own civilian band. In a matter of months this band assumed a position of equality with the finest symphony orchestras of the day. This online presentation features 56 historical recordings as well as selected music manuscripts, photographs, printed music, copies of programs and press clippings, and more from the Sousa Collection at the Library of Congress.
Patriotic Melodies tells the stories behind many of the songs that have now become part of the American national heritage. Over 40 sound recordings of hymns, national songs, music of the theater, radio and television, military themes, and poetry, showcase the enthusiasm and pride that remain a constant part of the American experience.
Faust: Topic Page
Legendary magician who sold his soul to the devil. The historical Georg (or Johann) Faust appears to have been a wandering scholar and conjurer in Germany at the start of the 16th century.
Traditional Music Resource
Traditional Music and Spoken Word Catalog from the American Folklife Center
Includes thousands of individual songs, tunes, folk tales, sermons, monologues, and life stories from the Library of Congress Archive's collections. Included are the John and Alan Lomax's Library of Congress field recordings (Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, Jelly Roll Morton) as well as hundreds of well-known and lesser-known treasures by other notable collectors including Herbert Halpert, Zora Neale Hurston, Henrietta Yurchenco, Vance Randolph, and Helen Creighton, among many others.
The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America
The Songs of America presentation allows you to explore American history as documented in the work of some of our country's greatest composers, poets, scholars, and performers. From popular and traditional songs, to poetic art songs and sacred music, the relationship of song to historical events from the nation's founding to the present is highlighted through more than 80,000 online items. The user can listen to digitized recordings, watch performances of artists interpreting and commenting on American song, and view sheet music, manuscripts, and historic copyright submissions online.
Alan Lomax Sound Recording Archive
Alan Lomax Archive, a priceless collection of recorded music, dance, and the spoken word preserved by the Association for Cultural Equity.
Band Music from the Civil War Era
This collection makes available 19 examples of brass band music that flourished in the 1850s in the United States and remained popular through the nineteenth century.
Carnival: Topic Page
Communal celebration, especially the religious celebration in Catholic countries that takes place just before Lent.
The online Carnival Collection from the Louisiana Research Collection at Tulane University currently features more than 5,500 original float and costume designs. Most are from Carnival’s “Golden Age” (the 1870s through the 1940s) with about three hundred designs from 1950 to 1970. The great majority of designs are from the Carnival krewes of Comus and Proteus, with Rex and Momus also represented. Included are artworks from many of Carnival’s most noted designers, including Jennie Wilde, Bror Anders Wikstrom, and Charles Briton.
Ritual: Topic Page
In religious devotion or service, the practice of certain set formulas that either mark a particular important event in a person's life - such as birth rituals or death rituals - or form a patterned daily, weekly, or annual cycle.
Worship: Topic Page
Adoration and service of God or gods. This service involves reverence, awe, and wonder, and may take many different forms.