Sounds of Change: US Reform Movements through the Lester Levy Sheet Music Collection

Sounds of Change: US Reform Movements through the Lester Levy Sheet Music Collection Header Image

Brought to you by Hopkins at Home.

June 2, 2020 - June 30, 2020 (5 weeks)
Tuesdays, 11am-12pm EDT

The Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection is a gem among our Special Collections holdings. This carefully curated collection of 30,000 pieces of popular sheet music is the perfect lens through which to explore US reform movements, including suffrage, emancipation, anti-war, prohibition/temperance, and labor.  

Each section will provide a brief overview of the reform movement, and dive more deeply into it through the lens of 3-4 historic songs, examining the history revealed by each song and the specific techniques used by composers to achieve the emotional affect needed to further their movement. 

Schedule:  

Five pre-recorded lectures (20-30 minutes each) followed by a live Q&A. Courses will become available Thursdays at 11am, remaining available perpetually. This will be followed by a live question/answer session the following Tuesday at 11am (Zoom link to be provided)

Session 1Tuesday, June 2, 11am-12pm EDT

Introduction to the course; emancipation & abolition 

Watch recording here

Pre - Recorded Lecture release date and time: Thursday, May 28; 11am 
Live Q&A: Tuesday, June 2; 11am  

Description: This lecture will briefly introduce users to the history of the Levy Collection and give an overview of the series before diving into the emancipation movement. The lecture will include songs by African American composers that reflect period attitudes towards slavery, the civil war, and the role of black composers and performers in minstrelsy. 

Session 2Tuesday, June 9, 11am-12pm EDT

Temperance & prohibition 

Watch recording here

Pre - Recorded Lecture release date and time: Thursday, June 4; 11am  
Live Q&A: Tuesday, June 9; 11am 

Description: This lecture will examine the temperance and prohibition movements, examining songs including “I’ll Marry No Man If He Drinks,” and “America Never Took Water and America Never Will,” to illustrate opposing perspectives of these movements.  

Session 3Tuesday, June 16, 11am-12pm EDT

Labor 

Watch recording here

Pre - Recorded Lecture release date and time: Thursday, June 11; 11am 
Live Q&A: Tuesday, June 16; 11am 

Description: This lecture will explore the rise and fall of the Knights of Labor, the American Federation of Labor, and the impact of railroad strikes.  

Session 4Tuesday, June 23, 11am-12pm EDT

Anti-war 

Watch recording here

Pre - Recorded Lecture release date and time: Thursday, June 18; 11am 
Live Q&A: Tuesday, June 23; 11am 

Description: Songs will be chosen from the Civil War and World War I to explore music as an anti-war protest.  

Session 5Tuesday, June 30, 11am-12pm EDT

Suffrage 

Watch recording here

Pre - Recorded Lecture release date and time: Thursday, June 25; 11am 
Live Q&A: Tuesday, June 30, 11am 

Description: This lecture will include pro- and anti-suffrage songs, focusing on songs composed by women.  

 Event Date
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Start Time: 11:00am EDT

 Location

Via Zoom
Baltimore, MD 21218

 Contact
Hopkins at Home
Hopkinsathome@jhu.edu

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