New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music tells the story of a nation through the music of its people. Bringing together photographs, recordings, instruments, lyrics, and artist profiles, this Smithsonian Institution touring exhibition explores the distinct cultural identities of gospel, country, blues and other forms of roots music as they record the history of the American people and set the foundation for many musical genres appreciated world wide today.
Watch the video below to get a sense of New Harmonies in New Jersey!
Sponsored by NJCH and broadcast on WFDU (89.1), Fairleigh Dickinson University’s public radio station, Humanities Connection, hosted by Bob Mann, airs the last Sunday of each month at 8 a.m.
Why New Harmonies
in New Jersey?
How does a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit impact a community? Hosting New Harmonies prompts local communities to discover their own musical history and heritage, helping visitors connect the present with the past. The exhibit brings an often neglected and truly American art-form alive through both historical contextualization and live performance.
What is Roots Music?
From its earliest beginnings as traditional music brought to America by Irish and Scottish immigrants, roots music has always been at the core of American music. However, the term "roots music" was coined to describe the music that influenced rock and roll. In this clip, DeAngelo gives listeners a sample of roots music, demonstrating her prowess with the Irish harp with a performance of the traditional Irish song Lord Galway’s Lamentation.
More information about New Harmonies is available on the Smithsonian Institution website. It includes a recommended reading list of books related to the exhibition, as well as tools for teachers to create lessons on the theme.