From the album cover of Free to Be... You and Me

Don’t Dress Your Whale in Galoshes

Free to Be... You and Me was meant to help rear a generation free of sexist stereotypes. Fifty years on, some of its well-intentioned messages are worn around the edges.

Liberation on the Dance Floor

Motown’s foray into gay liberation music may have been short-lived, but it made an outsized impact on queer culture.
Chuck Berry does the splits as he plays his Gibson hollowbody electric guitar in circa 1968.

Race, Rock, and Breaking Barriers

The rock music industry brought more than a little racism to the radio, but a few artists pushed beyond the boundaries imposed by white audiences.
Producer John Dolphin's "Dolphin's Of Hollywood" record store on Central Avenue, 1952

The Los Angeles Renaissance

Black composers Bruce Forsythe and Claudius Wilson transcended barriers to create concert and classical music during this West Coast art movement.
ADN-ZB / H‰fller 30.7.73 Together with Italian festival delegates, members of the National People's Army sing at Alexanderplatz, July 1973

The Red Woodstock: Not Quite According to Plan

The 1973 World Festival of Youth and Students highlighted the paradoxes inherent in the East German socialist project.
Studio portrait of American violinist Maud Powell, c. 1909

Women, Men, and Classical Music

As more women embraced music as a profession, more men became worried that the world of the orchestra was losing its masculinity.
Clockwise: Sun Ra, Betty Davis, Janelle Monáe, Erykah Badu, and Jimi Hendrix

The Scholars Who Charted Black Music’s Timeline: Tony Bolden

Tony Bolden explores the spiritual principles that inform the foundation of Afrofuturist music.
Carl Friedrich Christian Fasch

From Screaming to Singing

How one German choir changed the way we think about, practice, and perform choral music.
Portia K. Maultsby, 1981

The Scholars Who Charted Black Music’s Timeline

Portia K. Maultsby documents the course of African American music, tracing the histories of the sounds alongside the histories of the people who made them.
Shelley Morningsong, 2019 Nammy Arits of the Year, with Fabian Fontenelle

The Native American Music Awards

Native American musicians and performers have been honored since 1998 by the Nammys.