Essays

Commentary on songs and singing.

"Setting the Historical Record, Song by Song," The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 5, 2012

By Pia Catton

Learning American history by listening to music may sound like a short cut, but when the teacher is opera star Thomas Hampson, it's more of a highbrow leg-up.

American Song Inspiration for Young (and Curious!) Singers

By Christie Finn

Music from the New and Old Worlds

By Stefan Drees

While American culture developed primarily in conformity with European standards during the 19th century, native elements began to receive attention in Europe beginning in the early 20th.

Pearl Harbor Music: Weill and Schoenberg

By Joe Horowitz

Of the distinguished refugee composers chased to the US by Hitler, two - Kurt Weill and Arnold Schoenberg - so memorably responded to Pearl Harbor that one is tempted to surmise that no American-born composer could have reacted with such exigent fervor to the Japanese attack.

Song In American History And Culture

By Deane L. Root

Song in Walt Whitman’s America was an everyday affair, and it remains so today. His praise is not of humming, nor of half-remembered ballads, but of full-throated songs. The rhythm of work, or nurturing care, of playtime throbbed to the sound of song throughout life and across society’s many constituent parts.

Song of America: Diary of a Nation

By Thomas Hampson

“America” has always meant different things to different people. The American poetic tradition is a particularly rich narration of our people and of becoming a culture--a culture chiseled with a fierce independence of mind and heart and soul unmistakably grounded in the very myriad of racial heritages from which it was born.