Sheet Music Deep Dive: Maps

With a sheet music mapping project in the works (stay tuned!), I decided to spend this week combing the Levy Sheet Music Collection in search of maps. One of the first songs that caught my eye when looking for maps in the collection is the Atlantic Telegraph Schottisch. This stunning lithograph cover was done by […]


Sheet Music Deep Dive: Witchcraft

One of the greatest movies to come out of the 1990’s was Hocus Pocus, with Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy. From Binx the talking cat to the iconic “I Put A Spell on You” dance scene, the movie has become a cult classic—and although we’re far from Halloween, I thought I’d spend […]


Sheet Music Deep Dive: Puppets

Over the past year, the pandemic has given me plenty of time to re-watch all of my favorite movies. In revisiting Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound Of Music, I rediscovered the delightful puppet show set to a song called “The Lonely Goatherd.” Inspired by this adorable scene (and because everybody loves puppets), I thought I’d […]


Sheet Music Deep Dive: Lithograph or Autograph?

Working with historic sheet music, I come across autographs almost every day. This doesn’t surprise me, as most of the books on my own bookshelf have my name written inside. Likewise, sheet music was intended to be used frequently, making the contents of any historic sheet music collection far from ‘mint condition.’ Instead, most of […]


Sheet Music Deep Dive: Homing Pigeons

Pigeons

Growing up in Arizona, my family would often travel out East to visit relatives. A highlight for me was always New York City, where I developed my childhood love of skyscrapers and fear of pigeons– whether they were coming after the soft pretzel I was eating or shoving each other in front of trains (don’t […]


Sheet Music Deep Dive: Blue Glass

As the curator of the Lester Levy Sheet Music Collection, a phrase I hear often is “I didn’t know sheet music could be used to study…” Levy collected 30,000 songs over 50+ years not to perform, but to use as a lens for studying history. To make this easier, Levy organized his collection by subject, […]


Love Notes from the Levy Sheet Music Collection

Sheet music "I Love A Piano"

The Lester Levy Sheet Music Collection comprises over 30,000 pieces of sheet music published between 1780 and 1980. Donated to the University by Lester Levy, the collection is renowned for its extensive survey of popular music—music that was mass produced for as large an audience as possible. Through the many songs in the collection, one […]