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Gershwin, Price & Beethoven


Resources from The Library of Congress American Folklife Center

On this site, you will find links to manuscripts, unique images, archival repositories and their finding aids, sound recordings, and more. Explore as much as your time permits. Start with the four “quantitative interrogatives”: who? what? when? where?

— Dr. Melanie Zeck

Meet Dr. Melanie Zeck

Bring Me to Gershwin Bring Me to Price Bring Me to Beethoven

Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue

Additional Resources

  • 📖 George and Ira Gershwin Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress
    • The George and Ira Gershwin Collection contains music manuscripts, handwritten and typewritten lyric sheets, printed music, correspondence, photographs, programs and publicity materials, legal and financial documents, and thirty-one scrapbooks, which present nearly a complete record of the Gershwins‘ lives and work as they were chronicled in the contemporary press. The centerpiece of the George and Ira Gershwin collection is the music material, which spans their entire careers and primarily relates to their stage and screen musicals but includes George’s concert works as well. The music material includes music manuscripts, many in George’s hand or in the hand of orchestrators, arrangers, or copyists; handwritten and typewritten lyric sheets; musical sketchbooks; and printed music. 
  • 👂 The 1924 recording of Rhapsody in Blue featured George Gerswhin at the piano with Paul Whiteman and His Concert Orchestra. It can be heard through the  Library of Congress National Jukebox and the Discography of American Historical Recordings.
  • 📖 African-American Banjo Music Banjo Research Guide
    • This guide provides information on discovering materials at the Library of Congress–primarily in the American Folklife Center–about African Americans who play the banjo. Recordings made in Appalachia, the Deep South, Mississippi Delta, and other regions provide documentation of this uniquely African-American instrument.
  • 🏛️ Alan Lomax CBS Radio Series collection (AFC 1939/002), Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
    • The American Folklife Center holds documentation for 339 radio programs created by Alan Lomax as a writer and broadcaster for CBS, BBC, Armed Forces, Mutual, and NBC networks, from 1939-1969.The American School of the Air was a mainstay of CBS educational broadcasting during the 1940s. American Folklife Center collections contain manuscript and audio documentation of two Lomax American School of the Air series: Folk Music of America (forty-nine programs broadcast from October 1939 to April 1940) and Wellsprings of Music (twenty-four programs broadcast from October 1940 to April 1941).
    • The collection includes documentation related to the programs from February and April 1940, which featured three of Florence Price’s compositional contemporaries—William Grant Still, William Levi Dawson, and R. Nathaniel Dett—each of whom infused “folk” idioms into otherwise classical constructs.
  • 👀 Alan Lomax collection (AFC 2004/004), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
    • Notes, correspondence, documentation, and project files related to Alan Lomax’s work Jelly Roll Morton.
  • 👂 Jelly Roll Morton Collection, 1938 (AFC 1938/001), Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. 
    • Interviews and musical performances of Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton recorded by Alan Lomax at the Library of Congress, 1938. Morton recounts his experiences, both in New Orleans and on the road, as a popular musician of the early twentieth century. These interviews were the basis for Alan Lomax’s biography: Mister Jelly Roll: the fortunes of Jelly Roll Morton, New Orleans Creole and “inventor of jazz,” (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1950). Related manuscripts in the collection include correspondence, indexes, partial transcripts, notes, and drafts of DownBeat articles from 1937-1938.  

Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement

Additional Resources

  • 📖  Florence Price Collection Special Collections Department Repository, University of Arkansas Libraries. 
    • The collection contains materials, primarily published and unpublished sheet music, created and collected by composer Florence Price. Also included are a memo book, course notes, and a course notebook that belonged to Price; thirteen family photographs; and a manuscript draft of a novel, Maudelle: A Novel Founded on Facts Gathered from Living Witnesses, written by Price’s father, James H. Smith.
  • 📖  Florence Beatrice Smith Price Collection Special Collections Department Repository, University of Arkansas Libraries.
    • The papers consist of correspondence of Price and of her daughter, Florence Price Robinson, diary fragments, programs, photographs and microfilm. In addition there are the research files of Mary Dengler Hudgins on Price. The papers also include musical scores. These are arranged according to keyboard, voice, string, and symphonic works.
  • 📖 Chicago Ethnic Arts Project collection (AFC 1981/004), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
    • The Chicago Ethnic Arts Project survey was conducted in 1977 by the American Folklife Center at the request of the Illinois Arts Council to assess and document the status of ethnic art traditions in more than twenty ethnic communities in Chicago, and was jointly sponsored by both organizations. The collection consists of approximately 344 sound recordings, 14,141 photographs, 269 folders of manuscript materials, 2 video recordings, publications, ephemera, administrative files, and field notes produced and collected during the 1977 Chicago Ethnic Arts Project field survey from 1976-1981.
    • In particular, this collection documents the vibrant cultural scene on Chicago’s south Side—including that of the Bronzeville neighborhood, where Florence Price had made her home during the flowering of Chicago’s Black Renaissance, which spanned the 1930s and 1940s. 
  • 👂Hambone demonstration and conversation with kids, Tifton, Georgia
    • South-Central Georgia Folklife Project collection (AFC 1982/010), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
  • 👂 Now What a Time: Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938 to 1943
    • This online presentation draws from three archival collections, each of which is held at the American Folklife Center.
  • 👂John Work Collection of Negro Folk Music from the Southeast (AFC 1941/035), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • 👂Lewis Jones and Willis James Recordings at Fort Valley State College (AFC 1943/012), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • 👂Fort Valley, Georgia, Recordings (AFC 1944/003), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
    • This online presentation consists of approximately one hundred sound recordings, primarily blues and gospel songs, and related documentation from the folk festival at Fort Valley State College (now Fort Valley State University), Fort Valley, Georgia. The documentation was created by John Wesley Work III in 1941 and by Lewis Jones and Willis Laurence James in March, June, and July 1943. Also included are recordings made in Tennessee and Alabama (including six Sacred Harp songs) by John Work between September 1938 and 1941. These recording projects were supported by the Library of Congress’s Archive of American Folk Song (now the American Folklife Center archive). 
    • This collection documents the musical genres popular at the height of Florence Price’s compositional career.
  • 👀 Florence B. Price Music Manuscripts, Music Division, Library of Congress.

    • The collection includes classed holograph scores by Price written under her own name and that of her pseudonym, Vee Jay, which were submitted as copyright deposits to the Library of Congress from 1928 to 1964. The works largely represent her most popular style of composition, the arrangement of Negro spirituals. In addition to these spirituals, the collection also contains one of Price’s most famous pieces, the holograph score for Fantasie Nègre no. 1 in E minor. A piano-vocal score for “If I Told the Stars” with music by Lew Tobin and words by Price is also included.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6

The Pastoral Symphony

Additional Resources

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