If you’re doing research for the Sweet Adelines Song Assessment Tool, these links will help.
American History and Popular Song
- John W. Work, American Negro Songs and Spirituals – Digital copy from the New York Public Library. Helpful book for researching Negro spirituals.
- How the term “Dixie” came to define the South – Story from CNN, June 27, 2020
- Joe Bebco, “Reconsidering Dixieland Jazz” – Syncopated Times, July 2021
- Ben Zimmer, “What Dixie Really Means“. Atlantic, June 2020
- Cafe Songbook – Songs, songwriters, and performers of the Great American Songbook. Not comprehensive, but a good source for the songs it covers. Includes information on composers and lyricists, origins of songs (i.e. written for a particular show, etc), song background, and links to performances.
- Brief history of Tin Pan Alley – From acousticmusic.org
- Brief history of Vaudeville – From acousticmusic.org
- Internet Broadway Database – Excellent resource for Broadway shows and people connected with them, including songwriters.
- Alyssa Taubin, The American Musical in Black and White: How Race Relations in the United States Directory Affected the Development of Musical Theater – from Howlround Theatre Commons
- History of Blackface – Covers the history of Blackface and racist Black stereotypes in minstrel shows, Vaudeville, Broadway, radio, film, and television.
- African American roots of barbershop – From the Barbershop Harmony Society
- Musicals 101.com – “Cyber-Encyclopedia of Musical Theater, Film, and Television”
- Mason and Dixon Draw a Line – From the History Channel. So many songs about the South mention the Mason-Dixon Line. But where was it and who were Mason and Dixon? This is a good, short summary of the history behind the Mason-Dixon Line.
- “Three Documentaries You Should Watch About the Tulsa Race Massacre” – Story from National Public Radio, May 30, 2021
- Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia – Ferris State University
- American Civil War Museum
- Rebecca Hersher, “Why You Probably Shouldn’t Say ‘Eskimo'” – from National Public Radio, April 24, 2016
- Carla M. Ponti, The Musical Representation of Asian Characters in the Musicals of Richard Rodgers. Ph.D. dissertation in Music from UC San Diego. From ProQuest, published as open access.
- Sabina Thalheim, A Hundred Million Messages: Reflections on Representation in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song. M.A. thesis, Ohio State University, 2013
- Irving Berlin – official site
- George and Ira Gershwin – Official site
- Cole Wide Web – Cole Porter official site
- Songwriters Hall of Fame – Short biographies of many well-known songwriters
Selected Sheet Music Collections
- Sheet Music Consortium – Hosted by the UCLA Library; provides access to sheet music collections at more than 30 libraries all over the world
- Library of Congress online sheet music collections
- IN Harmony: Sheet Music from Indiana – Created by Indiana University; includes collections from Indiana University Lilly Library, Indiana State Library, Indiana State Museum, and Indiana Historical Society
- Lester Levy Sheet Music Collection – Johns Hopkins University Library
- Archive of Popular American Music – UCLA Library
- Vocal Sheet Music Collection – Digital Commons, University of Maine
- African American Band Music and Recordings, 1883-1923 – Library of Congress
- Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project – UC Santa Barbara, Davidson Library. Historic recordings from the era of Edison wax cylinders. Many pre-1938 barbershop quartets are in this collection, digitized and freely available.
- The Great 78 Project – Community project for the preservation, research, and discovery of 78rpm records. Part of the Internet Archive
Note: I’m not an attorney and I cannot provide legal advice. The links below are for educational purposes and are focused on US law. Questions about copyright should be addressed to a qualified attorney in your US state or home country.
- ASCAP – American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers
- BMI – Broadcast Music Incorporated
- SESAC – Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (organization has both American artists and European ones)
- Copyright Term and Public Domain in the US – From Cornell University
- Copyright and Fair Use – From Stanford University
- Public Domain Information Project – Helpful guide to public domain in the US
- Public Domain Sherpa – Helpful guide to copyright and public domain written by a practicing attorney
- Dear Rich: An Intellectual Property Blog – Answers to questions in all areas of intellectual property (copyright, trademark, patent) written by a practicing attorney, Richard Stim
- Copyright Books from Nolo Press – Nolo publishes law-related books aimed at the consumer market.