From recordings of old-time 78 rpm blues and Tin-Pan Alley hits to early rock; from modern jazz and new orchestral compositions to minimalist, electroacoustic experiments, the Database of Recorded American Music (DRAM) has something for everyone, and invites listeners on a journey through the history of recorded sound. DRAM has expanded to include not just American music but World music as well. These are recordings of immense value to scholars—and thanks to DRAM, they’ve been saved from the oblivion that often awaits recordings with limited commercial appeal.
DRAM began with a grant from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and grew out of New World Records’ Anthology of Recorded Music. With support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and participating institutions, DRAM continues adding new recordings to its more than 4,000 hours of music (approximately 5,000 albums from a distinctive set of 42 independent labels and archives).
Users can search for music by composer, performer, ensemble, instrument, record label and then stream the mp4 results on iPod, iPad, and Android devices. Searches are often rewarded with surprising results; for instance, among the vintage recordings of the late 19th and early 20th centuries are opera star Enrico Caruso belting out George M. Cohan’s WWI pop classic “Over There” and a spoken-word political debate between William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan from the 1908 presidential campaign. Find out what surprises await you!
Please check out our list of new online resources. It’s updated daily!