Harpsichord

Why We Will Never Hear What Mozart Heard

Modern pianos are the product of a 600-year evolution—from Hermann Poll's 1397 clavicembalum, to clavichords, harpsichords, and the modern grand piano.
Graceland facade

Was Graceland Elvis’ Greatest Aesthetic Masterpiece?

When you think of the aesthetic life of Elvis Presley, you probably think of the gaudy glitz of Graceland. But what did the tacky décor really mean?
Hormel Girls

The Singing, Dancing Hormel Girls Who Sold America SPAM

SPAM was introduced 80 years, but it was a military-style corps of singing women that helped the canned meat skyrocket in the years after World War II.
Howard square dance

The Slave Roots of Square Dancing

Square Dancing's lily-white reputation hides something unexpected: A deep African-American history that's rooted in a legacy of slavery. 
Woody Guthrie

How “This Land Is Your Land” Went From Protest Song to Singalong

Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” has lost a bit of its protest oomph—in part because of a decades-long denial of its later verses.
Birthday Cake

Happy Birthday to “Happy Birthday” Composer Mildred J. Hill

Happy Birthday, Mildred J. Hill! How the early childhood educator's humble song "Happy Birthday To You" became a worldwide institution.
Anna Deavere Smith as Cornel West in “Twilight: Los Angeles.”

Remembering the L.A. Uprisings Through Theater

Just one year after the Rodney King verdict and subsequent L.A. riots, Anna Deveare Smith opened her one-woman show “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992."
JSTOR mixtape Volume 2

A Very JSTOR Daily Mixtape: Volume 2

A JSTOR playlist featuring musicians who were also writers or scholars with content on JSTOR: including Leonard Cohen, Neko Case, Vijay Iyer, and Brian Eno.
Jamie Dimon

How to Publicly Apologize

Why, after al the political, corporate, and celebrity apologies we've heard in the last generation, is it still so hard to say, "I'm sorry"?
Showgirl

The Man Who Invented the Showgirl

Showgirl. Just the word calls to mind fabulous plumes, spangled sequins, and a distinctive strut. But where does ...