Skip to main content
Soul Train Neon Sign from the Music Exhibit at National Museum African American History and Culture
  • Honoring the incredibly diverse array of musical objects, essays, and videos pertaining to African American music here at the Smithsonian.

  • Selection of the many online articles, blog posts, and artist biographies shared by Smithsonian museums, cultural centers, and research centers on the topic of American folk music.

  • Celebrating Asian Pacific American music and heritage.

  • Few musical instruments are more deeply connected to the American experience than the banjo. This spotlight explores the banjo’s unique heritage.

  • Celebrating Ella Fitzgerald's talent, passions, and musical legacy.

  • The guitar has become an integral part of American music today, but it has roots and branches in music and artwork from all over the world. Smithsonian Music is excited to explore the diversity of the guitar in the Smithsonian's various collections in this Spotlight feature.

  • Jazz grew out of African American culture as it developed in the southern US during the 19th Century, and has intertwined with many other musical traditions.

  • In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, this Spotlight features collections and resources about Latino music. 

  • This spotlight highlights the wide variety of resources for learning about and participating in the relationship between dance and music.

  • This spotlight looks at some of the ways people have used music to explore the cosmos and ways people have brought the cosmos into their artistic lives. 

  • This spotlight celebrates the rich and varied musical traditions of Native American cultures by highlighting some of the musical resources and collections objects cared for by the Smithsonian Institution. 

  • The percussion family is the largest in an orchestra. But the diversity of percussion continues in a non-traditional format as tap dance shoes, steel pans, and instrumental bones are included in this group.

  • Prince by Lynn Goldsmith 1993 (printed 2010) Digital inkjet print National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Jimmy Iovine © Lynn Goldsmith

  • Honoring Ray Charles, an incredible musician who crossed genres and captivated audiences worldwide.

  • In memoriam of rock and roll pioneer Charles E. "Chuck" Berry (October 18, 1926–March 18, 2017)

  • This spotlight highlights the connection between spirituality and music.

  • Enjoy essays and browse through our collection objects celebrating women in music.

  • Focusing on the ways in which work and music inspire one another to produce more fulfilling work and more meaningful music.