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 […]