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Song of America

The Library of Congress has bringing a number of America’s musical archives to its website through the “I Hear America Singing” project, and this addition to their existing work is most welcome. The Song of America website is designed to serve as a companion piece to an ongoing 11-city concert tour which features the baritone Thomas Hampson performing a number of American songs. This site draws visitors’ attention to the world of the American art song, which began to flourish in the late 19th century as a number of American composers began to explore the world of the more serious “art song”. Influenced by the German lied and the French melody, composers such as Charles T. Griffes and Edward MacDowell began to incorporate a more refined sensibility into their works. On this website, visitors can learn more about eight of these American art songs by examining short essays about each piece, listen to an audio recording, and in many cases, viewing manuscripts of each composition. Some of the songs profiled here include Walter Damrosch’s “Danny Deever” and Stephen Foster’s “Beautiful Dreamer”.
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