THE J. W. PEPPER BLOG | DELIVERING MUSIC SINCE 1876

THE J. W. PEPPER BLOG | DELIVERING MUSIC SINCE 1876

THE J. W. PEPPER BLOG | DELIVERING MUSIC SINCE 1876

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History

The Music of Independence: From 1776 to 1920

In the United States, the Fourth of July often is associated with trips to the pool, good food, and fireworks. But it isn’t the...

Music History Collection: Blogs and Documentaries that Explore Our Musical Past

Pepper has gotten the opportunity to explore a lot of music history, taking closer looks at both the people and the instruments that helped...

Restoring the Musical Past: Listen to Mount Vernon’s New Harpsichord

For the past two years, Pepper has been following the painstaking construction of a harpsichord for Mount Vernon that is a replica of the...

How Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Impacted Music Education

It’s said the first thing Fred Rogers did when he returned home from emergency surgery for stomach cancer was go straight to his piano....

Pepper and Penn Commemorate the Life of James Welsh Pepper

It was over 140 years ago that James Welsh Pepper first started the company that still carries his name. Setting up shop in 1876,...

Composer Rollo Dilworth: Remembering Moses Hogan

March 13th marked the 62nd birthday of late composer and musical pioneer Moses Hogan. He is considered a pioneer of the modern spiritual, bringing...

Unveiling a Replica of the Washington Family Harpsichord

In February, we celebrate past presidents and their contributions to our national identity. The legacies of our past leaders are played out in history...

Black History Month Songs: Using Music to Teach About the Past

Updated January 2020 The idea for Black History Month was developed during a difficult time for African Americans in the United States. In 1926, segregation...

10 Ways World War I Changed Music

November 2018 marked 100 years since the guns were silenced in Europe on “the 11th hour on the 11th day on the 11th month”...

Roll Out the Accordion – Polka Music and Oktoberfest

Alex Meixner’s hands fly across his accordion when he plays crowd favorites at Oktoberfest celebrations across the country. The talented musician, who is known...

Lesser-Known Stories About Leonard Bernstein: A Museum Tour

A large wall photo at a Philadelphia exhibition shows Leonard Bernstein during one of the most poignant days of his life – a day...

Celebrating Patriotic Music

Each year when the annual celebration of our nation’s birth approaches, patriotic music becomes more prevalent in our daily lives. These songs paint a...

Top 19 Famous Female Composers

Quietly, in places ranging from convents to conservatories to farms, extraordinary women have written innovative music without the benefit of fame. Historical archives hint...

Silent No More: Mount Vernon Makes Harpsichord History

The harpsichord holds an important place in music history. Its unique sound is instantly recognizable, flavoring the works of countless composers from the Renaissance,...

Edition Peters: Bringing Sheet Music to the Masses

Great music tells a great story. Be it the story of a moment, the story of a feeling, or the story of a generation,...

Celebrating the Leonard Bernstein Centennial: Contributions to Composition

Among the great 20th century composers, Leonard Bernstein stands out as having impacted perhaps the widest range of musical styles. His works can be...

A History of Service: Pepper Buildings

In the simplest sense, buildings are just four walls and a roof meant to house people and objects. It is what you put inside...

To All Lovers of Song and Music: A Pepper Legacy Film

The American centennial was an exciting time for the nation. Cities and towns bustled with new industry and a brighter outlook replaced the bleak...

A History of Service: Music Education

Education is the lifeblood of any successful society, preserving the best skills and techniques by passing them down to future generations. The music world...

Thespis: In Print for the First Time

Among the many great names in musical theater, English operetta masters William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan were two of the earliest to gain...

A History of Service: Pepper Instruments

You won’t see a lot of Pepper instruments out in the world these days. All told, the company only manufactured instruments for less than...

Ennio Morricone’s Long-Awaited Oscar Win

The 88th Academy Awards ceremony was held on Sunday, February 28th in the same splendor as it always is. This year, much was made...

J.W. Pepper and the Birth of the Sousaphone

On the field, in the stands, or on the street, the Sousaphone is one of the most recognizable instruments in the world. Now a...

Exploring the Sound of Patriotism

Music is widely seen as a window into the spirit of the time it was written. Patriotic music is a prime example of this....

11 Fun Facts about “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and The Wizard of Oz

Believe it or not, the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz is upon us.  The ubiquitous classic that immortalized Judy Garland’s face and...

7 Things You Didn’t Know About The Star-Spangled Banner

We’ve already spent some time exploring the history of The Star-Spangled Banner, but there are still a lot of interesting facts that you may...

The Star-Spangled Banner, 1914 to 2014

The centennial of The Star-Spangled Banner brought a renewed interest in the song and the story of how it came to be written.  Though...

The Star-Spangled Banner, 1814 to 1913

In the 200 years since Francis Scott Key wrote the words to The Star-Spangled Banner (then The Defense of Fort M’Henry), the song has...

Richard Strauss’ 150th Birthday

In 2014 we celebrate the 150th birthday of Richard Strauss (June 11, 1864 – September 8, 1949).  He is considered by many to be...

50 Years of Wingert-Jones Music

It was the Mid-West National Band Clinic, 1964. Merrill Jones sat alone at a table with his publishing company’s entire catalog -- one piece by Claude...

The 300th Birthday of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

The year 2014 could prove to be significant for the legacy of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.  The second surviving son of the great Johann...

Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue!

On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress authorized a brand-new flag - the Stars and Stripes -- for a brand-new nation, the United States...

The Rite of Spring at 100

If any piece can be said to define the twentieth century, it’s Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.  The first performance took place almost exactly...

The Rite of Spring – An Appreciation

As I write these words, we are no more than a few days away from the hundredth anniversary of one of the great events...

John Cage: Inventor of Genius?

“Of course he’s not a composer, but he’s an inventor — of genius.” – Arnold Schoenberg on John Cage To categorize him as simply “a...

Harmony Singing

Everyone seems to enjoy good harmony singing.  From the Andrew Sisters during World War II, the McGuire Sisters, the Four Lads, the Mills Brothers,...

Porgy and Bess Turn 75!

It seems like there are a few opera productions such as Bizet’s Carmen, Delibes’ Lakme, Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, and Verdi’s La Traviata that...

The Great American Songbook

When I was in college, one of my music theory professors would begin each class by sitting at the piano and singing a standard...

The Story of John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa was born in Washington, D.C. in 1854, on G Street near the Marine Barracks. His father, Antonio, played trombone in the U.S. Marine...