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Celebrate Music in 2018: Smithsonian Music spotlight on Music Anniversaries in 2018

Music Anniversaries in 2018

The year 2018 marks the anniversary of a number of remarkable music events and people. The pages in this collection travel back through history to look at some of the Smithsonian collections that relate to notable music events and people 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 years ago. Click on one of the slides or the link below to explore more.

Essays reaching into music history

The essays below take a more in-depth look at some of the events and people highlighted in the collection, Music Anniversaries in 2018

1968 - "Peace Songs of the 1960s"
1918 - "Women in World War I"
1868 - "William Steinway and Richard Wagner"
1818 - "Western Music in Meiji Japan"
1768 - "Mozart: In Search of the Roots of Genius"

Albums related to Music Anniversaries of 2018 Collection

Playlist: Classical Music from Smithsonian Folkways


The origins of Western Classical music can be traced back to the ancient Greeks, who laid down the foundation by establishing music notation and the basic concepts of music theory and terminology.

A Perspective of Beethoven-Pianoforte

Leonid Hambro

American concert pianist Leonid Hambro, remembered for his legendary memory and ten-year partnership with Victor Borge, recorded these works by Beethoven for Cook Records in 1953.

German Christmas Songs

Ernst Wolff

Ernst Wolff (1905–1991), a classically trained singer of opera and German lied (art song), settled in America in 1937 after fleeing to England from Germany in 1933.

American Revolutionary War Songs to Cultivate the Sensations of Freedom

Arthur F. Schrader

The first anthologies of Revolutionary War song-texts began to appear in 1842. Fast forward 131 years, and many adaptations later, to find music historian and performer Arthur Schrader revisited the original texts in their primary sources.

What is a Baryton and Who is Joseph Haydn?

In 1768, 250 years ago, Joseph Haydn was newly promoted to the position of music director for the court of Nikolaus I, Prince Esterhazy.  In this role, he wrote a three-act opera, Lo speziale (The Apothecary), which premiered as the inaugural opera of the Esterháza opera house in late 1768.

The video to the right features Smithsonian curator, Kenneth Slowik, discussing Joseph Haydn and an instrument called a baryton.

See collections objects related to Haydn and explore other music events and people from 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 years ago in the collection, Music Anniversaries in 2018

This spotlight was created by Kate Duffus Stein on behalf of Smithsonian Music.