Music & Musical Instruments
The Museum's music collections contain more than 5,000 instruments of American and European heritage. These include a quartet of 18th-century Stradivari stringed instruments, Tito Puente's autographed timbales, and the Yellow Cloud guitar that belonged to Prince, to name only a few. Several of these rare instruments can be heard in performances of the Smithsonian Chamber Players and in other public programs. Music collections also include jukeboxes and synthesizers, square-dancing outfits and sheet music, archival materials, oral histories, and recordings of performances at the Museum. The vast Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated Sheet Music is a remarkable window into the American past in words, music, and visual imagery. The Duke Ellington and Ruth Ellington Boatwright collections contain handwritten music compositions, sound recordings, business records, and other materials documenting the career of this renowned musician.
"Music & Musical Instruments - Overview" showing 1 items.
- Physical Description
- Wood with personal carvings.
- Specific History
- At 24 years old, Solomon Conn, a son of a hotel keeper in Minamac, Indiana, enlisted as a private in Company B of the 87th Indiana Infantry on July 26, 1862. He purchased this violin in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 1, 1863. Conn carried the violin while serving, although his family admitted that he never learned to play. Written on the back of the instrument are the names of places where the soldiers of the 87th were either on duty or engaging the enemy. More place names are written along the left and right edges of the sides. Among the more well-known battles the 87th took part in were the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863 and Kennesaw Mountain in June 1864. By the end of the war, the 87th Volunteers had lost 283 men, most of them to disease.
- This object stands as a unique memento of the common soldier during the Civil War.
- Currently not on view
- Conn, Solomon
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center