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American Music Links

  • The Library of Congress provides the National Jukebox, a site with over 10,000 historical sound recordings made between between 1901 and 1925. Search or browse for music, or explore playlists such as Tin Pan Alley, the Foxtrot or songs by Irving Berlin.
  • The Performing Arts Databases invites visitors to experience the diversity of American performing arts through the Library of Congress's collections of scores, sheet music, audio recordings, films, photographs, maps, and other materials. The site features interesting special collections, such as one on Patriotic Melodies with history, sheet music and sound recordings of over 25 songs.
  • American Masters from PBS contains a database with information about musicians such as Leonard Bernstein, Placido Domingo, Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin, and more.
  • Blues Journey from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a multimedia journey through the history of this art form and the play of the same name. Music clips, photographs, audio narration, maps and other information make this informative site very interesting to explore.
  • Jazz from PBS is an interactive exploration of Jazz to accompany the Ken Burns series. Users can explore the history of jazz through an interactive map or an event timeline, find biographies of nearly 100 premiere jazz artists, and learn about how jazz mirrored changes in American society.
  • Drop Me Off in Harlem from Kennedy Center's ArtsEdge features images, audio and video clips as well as information on American musical greats such as Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith, Fats Waller, James Johnson and others.
  • Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn: Jazz Composers from the National Museum of American History includes biographies and audio and video clips.
  • African-American Sheet Music: 1850-1920 from the Library of Congress this archived website consists of 1,305 pieces of music, including songs from the abolitionist movement, titles associated with the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, and Civil War and reconstruction period songs.
  • The Leonard Bernstein Collection from the Library of Congress makes available a selection of 85 photographs, 177 scripts from the Young People's Concerts, 74 scripts from the Thursday Evening Previews, and more than 1,100 pieces of correspondence.
  • The Aaron Copland Collection from the Library of Congress is a primary resource for the study of musical life in 20th century America. The collection includes music manuscripts, printed music, correspondence, diaries and writings, photos, awards, programs, and other biographical materials.
  • The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum focuses on the great figures of rock and roll and their songs, with special sections for students and teachers. Also included are interdisciplinary lesson plans that use music to get secondary students interested in history and other subjects.
  • Swinging Through Time: The Graystone Museum and the Story of Detroit Jazz from the Internet Public Library presents jazz history, photographs, essays by jazz scholars, and audio and video clips.
  • River of Song from PBS and the Smithsonian Institution explores American music at the end of the 20th century through a voyage along the Mississippi. The site includes a teacher guide that addresses national standards for music education.
  • Uncommon Instruments tells the stories of instruments that came to America with people who emigrated from countries all around the world, bringing music, and a little bit of their culture, with them. This site from the Library of Congress' America's Story website for kids includes audio files and historical information.