Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University
This summer, I completed an internship at The Center for Popular Music (CPM), an American vernacular music archive located at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The archive, established in 1985, houses a large collection of sheet music, music instruction manuals, and broadsides, reflecting the way music was disseminated prior to recorded sound. CPM is also home to a large collection of recordings, ranging from wax cylinders to cassettes and beyond.
I was assigned to work on The Charles K. Wolfe Audio Collection. Dr. Wolfe was one of the most prolific scholars of country music and American vernacular music during his lifetime. The Charles K. Wolfe Audio Collection contains over 3,000 cassette and open reel recordings. Many of the cassette and open reel recordings contain interviews that Wolfe conducted with various gospel and country musicians. My task was to summarize, or index, interviews for a search engine that will eventually be made available to scholars. Patsy Montana, Don Gibson, and Johnnie Lee Wills were among the interviews that I indexed.
I also developed a finding aid for the Butch Baldassari Collection. Baldassari was a mandolinist who performed in a wide variety of musical settings. As the founder of The Nashville Mandolin Ensemble, Baldassari had an interest in the history of mandolin orchestras. The sheet music within the collection was mainly repertoire for mandolin orchestras and ensembles. My experience at The Center for Popular Music was overwhelmingly positive. I gained real world experience and I also connected concepts that I learned in class to the work I did.
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