"The German Harmonica and African-American Blues" February 15


Wednesday, February 15, 2017 -- 7pm
702 Langdon St (Pyle Center)
Herbert Quelle, German Consul General in Chicago

For about a century, starting in the late 1800s, the German harmonica was one of the most popular musical instruments in the United States. Cheap and portable, it was the pocket-sized companion of European immigrants, and—once introduced to the American South—became the instrument of choice for many African-American musicians, who developed a new way of playing it, ‘bending’ the harmonica’s notes to fit a traditional musical scale and making the little instrument an integral part of the emerging ‘blues.’

Download the flyer

"The Pennsylvania Dutch Recordings of J. William Frey" April 18


Monday, April 18, 2016 -- 7-9pm -- 126 Memorial Library

The Mayrent Institute Sound Salon next week features Mark L. Louden (German and Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies, UW-Madison), discussing "The Pennsylvania Dutch Recordings of J. William Frey." One of the very few collections of commercially available recordings of Pennsylvania Dutch folk music ever made was a set of three 78s recorded in 1951 by J. William Frey and recorded on the Nelson Cornell label. Frey (1916–1989) was a native speaker of Pennsylvania Dutch and a professor of German and Russian for many years at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. Together with Alfred L. Shoemaker and Don Yoder, he founded the Pennsylvania Dutch Folklore Center at F&M in 1949, which played the leading role in the documentation of all aspects of Pennsylvania Dutch folklife. This presentation will discuss Frey’s recordings of seven secular songs that he himself performed for the collection, Folksongs of the Pennsylvania Dutch, songs which are today largely unfamiliar to contemporary Pennsylvania Dutch.

World Records, April 14-15, 2016


The World Records symposium is an innovative mix of collectors, archivists,
folklorists, musicians, lawyers and librarians discussing the critical roles
historic recordings play in defining our cultural life and literacy. Papers,
panels and discussions about preservation, access, ethnomusicology, copyright
and stewardship help us understand the diverse and sometimes conflicting issues
facing those who care for, benefit from and are inspired by historic sound

For full details, please visit http://mayrentinstitute.wisc.edu/events/world-records-2016/

Free and open to the public.

CSUMC and Mills Music Library Awarded Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities


The Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures and the Mills Music Library have been awarded $230,000 by the National Endowment for the Humanities for the digital preservation of a unique collection of historic sound recordings. In collaboration with the Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture, and other grant partners, the award will ensure that listeners today and in the future will be able to hear these rare fragments of Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest’s musical past. - See more at: http://news.wisc.edu/uw-madison-awarded-neh-grant-to-preserve-historic-r...

CSUMC Affiliate Janet Gilmore Talks on WPR about Lutefisk


Janet Gilmore recently was featured on the Joy Cardin show talking about lutefisk. You can listen to the program here: www.wpr.org/shows/tell-joy-where-lutefisk

Fundraiser for the Max Kade Institute November 13


The Friends of the Max Kade Institute are having a fundraiser--"Quench Your Thirst for Knowledge!"--at the University Club, November 13, 6-9 pm. There will be German-Heritage beer from Bull Falls Brewery, a German-style buffet from Clasen's Bakery, Swiss Colony, and Freiburg Gastropub, and polka music by Rick March--a great deal for $30!

Learn more about the event at mkifriends.org

Oral History in the Digital Age Workshop Aug. 27


On August 27, 2015 Doug Boyd of the University of Kentucky will be in Madison, leading two workshops on collecting, editing, preerving and disseminating oral histories in a digital environment.

Morning workshop is in 126 Memorial Library, from 8:45 am to 11:45 am.

Afternoon workshop is in 231 Memorial Library, from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm.

RSVP to troy.reeves@wisc.edu by August 25.

Folksongs of Another America


Read this blog from the Library of Congress about Jim Leary's new book Folksongs of Another America. Order online from the University of Wisconsin Press; this book is part of CSUMC's "Languages and Folklore of the Upper Midwest" series.

New Course in September 2015 from UW-Madison Continuing Studies: Europe's Musical Heritage in the Midwest


This September, folklorist Richard March will be teaching
a Continuing Studies course, “Europe’s
Musical Heritage in the Midwest: Polka, Balkan, Scandinavian Traditions.”
  The course will start around the time March's book on polka comes out. March was the Wisconsin State Folklorist from 1983-2009 and for many years, the radio host of "Down Home Dairyland" on Wisconsin Public Radio.

Full course information is at the
link above, and here:

Europe’s Musical Heritage in the
Midwest: Polka, Balkan, Scandinavian Traditions

Instructor: Richard March

This 6-week class will explore
various European musical traditions that entered the Midwest and became part of
its ethnic and regional culture. Concentrating on 20th century musical
developments, the history of these diverse musical genres will be explored
using evidence from historical recordings, documents, and photographs. We will
discuss the careers of key influential musicians in the various idioms.

2015 World Records/Vernaculars of the Global Midwest Symposium, March 19-20


The 2015 World Records Symposium (March 19) will meet in conjunction with the Verncaulars of the Global Midwest (March 19-20). The 2015 World Records Symposium will delve into the ways diverse Midwestern communities used early broadcasting technology to support local and traditional languages, cultrues, and music. Vernaculars of the Global Midwest explores the rooted yet convoluted elements of the region's distinctive buildings and landscapes, languages and dialects, music and song through an interdisciplinary series of presentations, panel discussions, performances, and workshops focused on field research, archival collections, and digital mapping.

For more information, including the schedule, visit http://mayrentinstitute.wisc.edu/events/worldrecords2015/

Convened by Anna Andrzejewski (Art History; Building, Landscapes, and Culture); Susan C. Cook (School of Music); James P. Leary (Folklore, Scandinavian Studies, CSUMC); Joseph Salmons (German, CSUMC); Henry Sapoznik (Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture), UW-Madison.

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures, the Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture and the Center for the Humanities, with support from the Humanities Without Walls consortium, based at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. The Humanities Without Walls consortium is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Exhibits provided by Jeanette Casey and Tom Caw at Mills Music Library, and Lindsey Meier and Sheila Leary from the University of Wisconsin Press.

Feedback, questions or accessibility issues | Site Administration
Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System